Asia becoming vibrant global innovation hub: report

Thursday, 2020-12-03 13:10:09
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Members of staff demonstrate a 5G-powered coal-mining system at an exhibition during the "China 5G + Industrial Internet Conference" in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Nov. 19, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Asia, particularly East Asia, is becoming one of the world's most vibrant innovation hubs, with China standing out as a major global innovation promoter, according to a report released on Wednesday (December 2) by the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).

Technology and innovation capabilities have spilled from developed countries into developing ones, notably China and Southeast Asian countries, whose remarkable progress on this front is matched only by their investment, the Boao Forum for Asia Innovation Report 2020 has revealed.

Global innovation hubs and cities also tend to congregate, with innovation being most active in Western Europe, North America, and especially East Asia, it said.

China is becoming more innovative, the report said, citing the World Intellectual Property Organization's Global Innovation Index, which shows that in both 2019 and 2020, China ranked 14th, making it the only middle-income economy that ranked among the top 30 most innovative countries.

BFA Secretary General Li Baodong attributed China's remarkable progress to its top-down support through sound and consistent policies, bottom-up initiatives by dynamic enterprises, as well as improved innovation capabilities facilitated by international-oriented development and globalization.

"China has become a major global innovation promoter that is gradually shifting focus from the quantity of innovation to the quality and impact of innovation," Li said.

Asian economies are attaching strategic importance to and investing in innovation, and the Asia-Pacific has become the world's largest market for cultural and creative industries, the report showed.

Meanwhile, Asian cities are vying to become innovation centers, it noted. According to the Nature Index 2018 Science Cities, a supplement of the scientific journal Nature, in just one year, the number of innovation hubs in China has grown from seven to 18.

The report also highlighted nine technologies with the biggest potential and most promising application prospects in Asia, namely artificial intelligence, 5G, industrial robots, intelligent supply chains, mobile payment technology, new retail technology, biomedical technology, digital energy technology, and environmental governance technology.