Which 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.

Produced annually by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) This year, Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea lead 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, except Mexico, have steadily improved their rankings over the past 10 years, WIPO said.

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 arrangements.

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

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

Up and down

Among the top-ranked regional economies, Brazil and Uruguay increased by five and four respectively from the 2020 rankings, while Chile fell one place and Mexico and Costa Rica remained the same.

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

The report highlights Chile for its “more balanced” innovation system, with good indicators for software spending, higher education enrollments and new businesses. Brazil performs well in IP payments and e-participation, Peru leads overall microfinance lending, while Costa Rica stands out in exports of cultural and creative services.

WIPO emphasizes that innovation performance in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania is the most dynamic of the last decade. It is the only area that has closed the gap.

The PMOI warns that Latin America is progressing too slowly.

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

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

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

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

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

The report also highlights strong growth in venture capital transactions in Latin America, with an increase of 12.1% year-over-year, although at levels well below those in other regions.

To access the full report, click here.

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