MANILA - The Philippines rose 19 notches in terms of innovation in a global index released Wednesday, marking the first time it was categorized as an "innovation achiever."
In the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) report, the Philippines rose to the 54th spot, up 19 notches from its previous ranking of 73 in 2018 and 2017.
The Philippines scored 36.18 out of 100, showed the report, which ranks a country's innovation capacity and success.
"It has remarkable performance in knowledge diffusion and knowledge absorption, not only relative to its income group and geographic region, but also relative to all other economies assessed in the GII," the 2019 report read.
"It scores above average in all innovation dimensions, with the exception of market sophistication," it said.
Among 15 economies in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania, the Philippines was the top producer of "high-tech net
exports" and received the second highest score in trademarks.
It was third in high-tech imports, creative goods exports, and the number of women employed with advanced degrees.
In the same regional cluster, the Philippines was also ranked the 8th top exporter of ICT (information and communications technology) services and creative goods; 9th in terms of firms offering formal training; and 10th in productivity growth.
The study, meanwhile, identified the Philippines' "weak areas" as the following: ease of doing business, ease of getting credit, expenditure on education, and global research and development companies.
Scientific and technical articles and new businesses are relatively weak on the innovation output side, it said.
The Philippines ranked only 2 notches below India, a more populous nation which also happens to be Manila's main competitor in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
The 3 nations with the highest GII rankings in 2019 are Switzerland, Sweden and the United States, scoring 67.24, 63.65 and 61.73 points respectively.
Nigeria, Togo and Yemen have the lowest GII score in 2019, ranking 127, 128 and 129 respectively.
The study categorized the Philippines as a lower middle income country, but Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier said the country is expected to advance to upper middle income status by 2020.