Tuesday 29 September 2020
 
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UAE, Saudi top Global Innovation Index ranking in Arab world

DUBAI, 25 days ago

The UAE has maintained its international high-standing in this year’s edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) as it ranked number one in the Arab world for the fifth consecutive year and improved to 34th globally followed by Saudi Arabia at 66th place in the 2020 edition of the report, according to Ministry of Economy.
 
The country ranked 22nd on the innovation input sub-index, a 2-rank increase from last year, and surpassing countries such as Iceland, Luxembourg, China, Spain and Russia. 
 
The UAE also improved on the innovation output sub-index, ranking 55th, a 3-rank increase from its rank in 2019. 
 
As per the GII ranking list, UAE reached number 34 of 131 countries surveyed in the Index 2020 report, while Saudi Arabia climbed to 66th place, both up two places from 2019.
 
The UAE was also ranked third in the Northern Africa and Western Asia region, behind Israel and Cyprus.
 
The Global Innovation Index report annually ranks countries based on their capacity to innovate. This year’s version of the report measured the performance of 131 countries and economies representing 99 percent of global GDP, with a focus on understanding “who will finance innovation?” 
 
The theme is especially relevant this year as the global depression triggered by Covid-19 has curtailed financing option for entrepreneurs and innovators. And it is precisely during such disruptive periods that society is most in need of social and technological innovations to help the economy recover and transition to a more-resilient outcome. 
 
UAE's economy ministry said the positive positioning across these indices reflects the significant improvements and high performances in pillars such as Human Capital & Research, Infrastructure, Business Sophistication, and Creative Outputs. 
 
For example, these pillars include gains in indicators such as R&D expenditures, ICT access and use indices, knowledge-intensive employment, patent families, high-tech imports, the percentage of research talent in business enterprises, and creative goods exports. 
 
Additionally, the UAE has achieved a positive position on the new “Global Brand value” indicator, under the creative outputs pillar, where it ranked 16th globally, stated the ministry. 
 
The GII is calculated based on detailed measures of innovation inputs and outputs – consisting of 80 indicators that provide insights on the various areas of innovation. These cover seven pillars: (1) institutions, (2) human capital & research, (3) infrastructure, (4) market sophistication, (5) business sophistication, (6) knowledge & technology outputs, and (7) creative outputs. The GII is commonly used by corporate and government officials to compare countries by their level of innovation inputs and outputs.
 
The GII is also recognized as one of several key indices under the UAE National Agenda’s ‘Competitive Knowledge-based Economy’ pillar, which is overseen by the Ministry of Economy in partnership with several private and public entities including the Ministry of Education, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, the Ministry of Finance, the Securities and Commodities Authority, and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, among others.   
 
The 33-initative package contributes to building a more flexible and innovative economic model, said Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy.
 
"The UAE's continued improved performance in the Global Innovation Index is a result of a long-term vision adopted by the country over the past years, under the guidance of wise leadership, which resulted in concerted efforts at the federal and local level as well as close collaboration of the public, private, and academic sectors to consolidate the culture of creativity and innovation in the UAE," he noted. 
 
"This will form a basis and engine for building a society that believes in a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and for the development of a diversified, competitive and sustainable economy based on knowledge and innovation,” he added.
 
Small and Medium Enterprises play a pivotal role in developing an innovative environment as they are the engines of sustainable and knowledge-based economic growth,  remarked Dr Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises and the Minister in charge of Tourism.
 
"The UAE’s GII 2020 positive performance reflects the government’s efforts to enhance the innovation ecosystem, improve intellectual property management, and increase investment in innovative projects, among other initiatives carried out in the last year," he stated.  
 
"However, in the coming phase, the Ministry of Economy and its partners will work on launching a new phase of initiatives to  increase SME capabilities, enable national entrepreneurship, and encourage start-ups and businesses operating in innovation and technology related sectors," he added. 
 
"Foreign trade and investment are pivotal factors in fostering global innovation as trade of creative goods and high-tech products, investment growth in value-added projects, stated Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and the Minister responsible for retaining and attracting talent.
 
The cross-border implementation of research and development projects all contribute to the knowledge base of the economy, consistently generating new and innovative ideas, he added.
 
Minister of Education Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi said his ministry has implemented many initiatives and reforms to improve the education and research climate in the UAE over the years. 
 
"This has led to significant improvements in critical education indicators such as school life expectancy, graduates in science and engineering, R&D expenditures, and the prevelance of research talent in business enterprises, all of which have increased significantly in a short span," he noted. 
 
 
 
Nasser bin Thani Juma Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratization, said: "Strengthening labor market resilience is among the priorities of the ministry based on its commitment to contribute to the efforts made to enhance the competitiveness of the state." 
 
By implementing policies and initiatives, in cooperation with its partners in the federal and local government sectors as well as the private sector, aimed at training and employing national cadres and reducing the cost of transferring competencies and global expertise between institutions and companies, the Ministry thus aims on optimising the investment of manpower in the labour market in a way that both meets market needs and contributes to achieving national goals," he observed.
 
Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs stressed that his ministry was keen to provide all possible support to achieve the vision of the UAE government in becoming among the most innovative governments in the world by 2021. 
 
"The Ministry continues to work closely with various government and private stakeholders to launch initiatives, strategies and programmes aimed at advancing innovation and creativity across all fields," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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