UAE tops the Global Innovation Index 2020 among Arab nations

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The UAE climbs two spots to be ranked 34th out of a total of 131 countries in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020.

It is for the fifth consecutive year that the index is putting the UAE – the second-largest economy in the Arab world – at the top spot among Arab nations.

Published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the index ranks countries on the basis of their capacity to innovate. It is calculated on the basis of detailed measures of innovation inputs and outputs and consists of 80 indicators.

WIPO is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations and seeks to promote and protect intellectual property (IP) worldwide through collaboration with countries and international organisations.

The UAE was numbered 22nd in the Innovation Input Sub-Index, ahead of China, Iceland, Russia, Luxembourg and Spain.

The nation has also improved its position by three ranks in the innovation output sub-index compared to the previous year and grabbed the 55th spot.

The report appreciated that the key pillar of the National Innovation Strategy in the UAE is the promotion of skills and the creation of a national culture of entrepreneurship and ideas.

The UAE National Innovation Strategy was announced in 2014 with the goal of making the nation one of the most innovative in the world in seven years and is based on initiatives such as the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.

This year’s report, which is themed ‘who will finance innovation,’ assessed the performance of 131 economies representing 99 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The UAE is developing a road to raising potential capital with stock exchange listings beyond financing, says the GII report. It highlights that the number of listed companies in the UAE has increased from 130 in 2017 to 137 in 2018.

Among the Arab countries, Saudi Arabia follows the UAE and is ranked 66th, raising its position by two spots compared to the previous year.

The top 100 included in the other regional economies are Qatar (70th), Kuwait (78th), Bahrain (79th), Jordan (81st), Oman (84th) and Lebanon (87th).

The report notes that though the pandemic has caused an unexpected global economic shutdown, fundamentally it has not changed the fact that the potential for new technologies and innovation continues to remain abundant.