From the Editor-in -Chief
Switzerland remains the world’s most innovative country
Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, U.S. and UK are the world's most innovative countries according to a new report by produced by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Now in its 10 edition, the Global Innovation Index surveys 130 economies using dozens of metrics - from patent filings to education spending - for a highlevel look at the innovative activity that increasingly drives economic and social growth. Key findings for 2017 show the rise of India as an emerging innovation center, high innovation performance in Sub-Saharan Africa relative to development, and an opportunity to improve innovation capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report also reveals that Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Viet Nam are working to improve their level of innovation and rank high in a number of important indicators related to education, R&D, productivity growth and high-tech exports. Switzerland leads the rankings for the seventh consecutive year as high-income economies take 24 of the top 25 spots. In 2016 China became the first-ever middle income economy in the top 25 and currently is placed No.22. "Innovation is the engine of economic growth in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, but more investment is needed to help boost human creativity and economic output," said WIPO director general Francis Gurry.
"Innovation can help transform the current economic upswing into longer-term growth." In a related announcement, more than 260 Rhenus Logistics employees from 28 different countries have been participating in a corporate initiative to find innovative ways to improve company processes and products. Next month 16 teams who survived several preliminary rounds will compete to implement their innovative solutions involving augmented reality, space optimization, online chats with broadcasts as well as new products and logistics concepts. "It was easy to arouse the innovative spirit in our employees. They're highly motivated when it comes to shaping our business and solving our customers' problems. They themselves want to be forces for change," commented Tobias Bartz, Rhenus Board and jury member. Rhenus has business sites at over 580 locations worldwide and employs more than 28,000 people. Pictured (right) are some of the finalists in Bangkok from the company's 'Rhevo' innovation project.
Switzerland ranked world’s most competitive economy
Switzerland is again top of the class in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Competitiveness Index – for the ninth year in a row – narrowly ahead of the United States and Singapore. It gained its highest ever score in the past ten years of the WEF rankingexternal link, thanks to its ability to innovate, its sophisticated businesses, and a highly effective labour market. “Econom ic performance benefits from extremely strong fundamentals including public health, primary education, and a comparatively solid macroeconomic environment. Its economy has a high level of flexibility, with its labour markets being ranked as the best-functioning globally,” the authors wrote. Like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany, Switzerland scored high for both labour market flexibility and protection of workers’ rights. “Governments that pursue both these objectives can achieve efficient labour markets as well as low levels of inequality,” the report stated. Despite dropping one place for higher education (down to fourth) and falling to second behind New Zealand for technological readiness, the alpine nation made strong progress in the health and primary education categories, climbing six places from eighth to second. Other G20 major economies in the WEF top 10 included Germany (5), Britain (8) and Japan (9). China is the highest ranking among the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China) group of large emerging markets, moving up one rank to 27. As well as individual competitive rankings, the WEF report highlighted the risk of further financial shocks on the horizon, and argued that nations were illprepared for the next wave of innovation and automation. “Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the prospects for a sustained economic recovery remain at risk due to a widespread failure on the part of leaders and policy-makers to put in place reforms necessary to underpin competitiveness and bring about much-needed increases in productivity,” WEF stated.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) praised Switzerland for its `highly effective' labour market