Hong Kong slips in global innovation ranking as regional competitors edge ahead

By Danny Mok for South China Morning Post

The annual ranking, published by Cornell University, saw Singapore, Japan, China and South Korea all improve their positions as some of the most innovative economies worldwide

Hong Kong has fallen further down global innovation rankings while its regional rivals continue to climb the annual list.

The city fell to rank 14th in the Global Innovation Index 2016 (GII), which was released on Monday by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organisation. It marked a drop from 11th position in last year’s report.

Meanwhile, Singapore jumped to sixth position this year, from seventh last year. The country was the only Asian territory within the top 10 of the GII ranking.

Asia’s technology hub South Korea placed 11th on the list, up from 14th last year. Japan ranked 16th, up from 19th last year.

For the first time, China appeared in the top 25 most innovative economies ranking, placing 25th overall. Its inclusion marked the first time a “middle income” nation has been included in the list.

The country also improved its position on the innovation quality index, moving up to 17th place.

“China progression reflects the country’s improved innovation performance as well as methodological considerations such as improved innovation metrics in the index,” the report stated.

“Despite China’s rise, an ‘innovation divide’ persists between developed and developing countries amid increasing awareness among policymakers that fostering innovation is crucial to a vibrant, competitive economy.”

Switzerland again topped the ranking with Sweden and the United Kingdom taking out second and third position. The United States and Finland placed fourth and fifth.

The GII, published annually since 2007, ranked 128 nations on their innovation capability and quality based on the result of 82 different indicators.