What are the most innovative countries in Latin America?

Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil and Uruguay are the most innovative economies in Latin America, according to the latest edition of the Global Innovation Index.

Prepared annually by the World Intellectual Property Organization (OMPI)This year, Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Korea topped the rankings.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, only Chile (53rd), Mexico (55th), Costa Rica (56th), and Brazil (57th) are among the top 60 of the 132 countries assessed.

Colombia (67th globally), Peru (70th), Argentina (73rd), Jamaica (74th), Panama (83rd), and Paraguay (88th) complete the ten most innovative countries in Latin America.

Few regional economies, with the exception of Mexico, have managed to steadily improve their rankings in the past 10 years, WIPO notes.

The report assesses a number of aspects of the innovation ecosystem, including science and technology clusters, research and development spending, intellectual property patent applications, and venture capital agreements.

This year’s index was also released at a time when countries are struggling to combat the health crisis.

The World Intellectual Property Organization notes that “despite the human and economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments and companies in many parts of the world have increased their investments in innovation.”

Up and down

Among the best-centred regional economies, Brazil and Uruguay are up five and four, respectively, compared to the 2020 rankings, while Chile is down one, and Mexico and Costa Rica are unchanged.

A total of 11 regional economies rose in the center, with Argentina, Paraguay and Ecuador being the most advanced, according to the organization.

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The report highlights Chile for its “more balanced” innovation system, with good indicators for spending on computer software, enrollment in higher education and new businesses. Brazil shows good performance in IP payments and e-participation, Peru tops overall microfinance loans, while Costa Rica stands out in exports of cultural and creative services.

WIPO highlights innovation performance in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania as the most dynamic of the past decade. It’s the only area that closed the gap.

WIPO warns that Latin America is progressing too slowly.

“Northern Africa and Western Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Southern Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa remain in this order, despite the good results achieved by the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chile, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa – they maintain a persistent and distant lag , as stated in the report.

However, the organization highlights Brazil, China, India, Iran, Turkey and Russia as middle-income economies with important science and technology clusters.

WIPO also gave good marks for the first time in 2021 to Brazil, Iran and Peru on “innovation achievements”, meaning that they exceed expectations in terms of innovation relative to their level of economic development.

By contrast, among the 31 economies, Argentina and the Dominican Republic appear to have performed below expectations.

For 2020, thirty economies have changed the performance stack. Fifteen economies have changed the state of performance from low expectations to meeting expectations. Most of these cases (six economies) belong to Latin America and the Caribbean: Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay and Uruguay,” the report states.

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The report also highlights the strong growth of venture capital deals in Latin America, with a 12.1% year-over-year increase, albeit based on much lower levels than other regions.

To access the full report, tap Here.

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