Pakistan being ranked as least efficient innovator: Ahsan Iqbal

(Islamabad) Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform has expressed great concern over Pakistan being ranked as least efficient innovator. He said, “In Knowledge Economy era, creativity and innovation are fundamental drivers of progress and prosperity and no country can afford to ignore innovation. Pakistan Vision 2025 aims at building new innovation foundations in economy for competitiveness. We are living in a very competitive world and being categorised as least efficient innovator is a very serious challenge which requires extra ordinary effort. Government has earmarked highest ever budget for higher education and scientific development geared towards strengthening academia and industry links. Government, private sector and academia partnership is being promoted to bring synergy in the efforts to transform the economy into a knowledge economy. Modern and complex economic challenges demand that nations pursue economic agendas with clarity and unity. Our future depends on competitiveness, human resource, exports, and innovation not on agitative darn as and politics.”

A new ‘Creative Productivity Index’ (CPI) developed by the Asian Develop­ment Bank (ADB) and Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) has ranked Pakistan as the least efficient innovator. Pakistan is ranked 23rd with weaknesses in fostering a competitive business environment and it provides little incentive for firms to innovate, says the report.

According to the index, Myanmar and Cambodia have also been ranked as the least efficient innovators, while Japan and South Korea have been ranked as countries most efficient in the Asia and Pacific region at turning creative inputs into tangible innovation. Of those with lower creative inputs, Pakistan and Cambodia are less efficient at turning inputs into outputs.

The index uses 36 input indicators to measure the capacity and incentives for innovation, including how many global top 500 universities a country has, the urbanisation rate, spending on research and development, protection of intellectual property rights, and corruption and bureaucracy.

The eight output indicators to measure innovation include the number of patents filed, export sophistication, value added to agriculture, and the number of books and films produced.

The CPI aims to give policymakers a unique tool to measure progress in fostering creativity and innovation in 22 Asian economies along with the United States and Finland for comparison purposes. It measures the innovative and creative capacity of economies by relating creative inputs to outputs.

On the input side, creative productivity is measured on three dimensions: the capacity to innovate, incentives to innovate and how conducive the environment is to innovation. The output side measures innovations by considering both conventional indicators, such as the number of patents filed, as well as a broader set of measures of knowledge creation.

On innovation inputs alone, Singapore topped the rankings with strong political institutions, protection of intellectual property, and contract enforcement. Among Asian countries, Hong Kong, China topped the list in terms of innovation outputs due to a high level of export sophistication and its prolific film production industry.