THE World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is the United Nations agency for intellectual property. It has published its Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020.
The report states that Switzerland tops the index with a score of 66.8 out of 100. It is followed by Sweden, the US, UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Singapore, Germany and Republic of Korea. Of the 131 economies analysed, Yemen stood at last with a lowest score of 13.56.
According to the report, four countries that have seen the greatest progress in the GII rankings over the last decade are all in Asia. They are China, Vietnam, India, and the Philippines standing at 14, 42, 48 and 50 respectively. This paints a bleak picture for Pakistan. It ranked Pakistan at 107th place with a score of 22.31. This should be a matter of grave concern.
Francis Gurry, the director-general of WIPO, in his message opined that continual and long-term policies were required for technological innovation.
The same is true for Pakistan. Political instability and short-term policies have retarded innovation in the country. This is clear from the post-lockdown and weak state of our economy.
This is a crucial time when during the pandemic-reset of the economy, we rescheduled our priorities. Investment in research and development not only can save lives but also boost our stagnant economy. I hope that government will take country’s ranking in GII seriously.
Ali Afzal Wassan
Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020