Malaysia maintains 36th spot out of 132 countries in Global Innovation Index 2023

  • Second most innovative among 36 upper-middle income countries, after China
  • Advancements in "Institutions" and "Human Captial and Research" categories 

A look at the Top 40 economies.

Malaysia has maintained its 36th position among 132 countries in this year's Global Innovation Index (GII) 2023. The overall score this year has seen an increase to 40.9 from the previous year's score of 38.7, according to the report published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Progress has been seen in five of the seven pillars of the GII when compared to 2022, with notable advancements in the Institutions category (where Malaysia rose from 34th to 29th place) and in Human Capital and Research (from 38th to 32nd).

Other areas saw substantial gains as well, as the country advanced from 26th to 18th in Market Sophistication and shifted from 41st to 36th in Business Sophistication. Furthermore, the Knowledge and Technology Outputs category saw an upward trend with a move from 39th to 37th position.

These results mean that Malaysia is the second most innovative among 36 upper-middle income countries, after China, according to the GII 2023 report. In the regional context, Malaysia remains the second most innovative nation in ASEAN, after Singapore.

In a press release issued by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI), the ministry outlines its ambitions to be in the top 30 of the GII by 2025, and has lined up several upcoming initiatives aimed at elevating Malaysia's position:

  1. Assisting in Intellectual Property (IP) registration: To support the process of registering IP rights for potentially commercializable innovations, including those developed by school students.
  2. Formulating the National Planet Health Action Plan (PTKPN): The aim is to address human health issues and the nation's relationship with nature, biodiversity, and climate change, which are all taken into account in the GII.
  3. Providing market information on the local startup ecosystem: To help Bursa Malaysia identify potential startups with the potential to be listed on the stock exchange.
  4. Proposing a setup of a Special Committee for Science, Technology, and Innovation Talent: This committee would include representatives from the industry and would support national initiatives in developing adaptive talents in science, technology, and innovation.

MOSTI also clarified that they view Malaysia's performance in the GII as a guide of the country's current innovation capabilities, and focuses on the factors driving and supporting the innovation process, including research and development, entrepreneurship, technology infrastructure, and other areas that require intervention.

Meanwhile, Singapore (5th) represents the most inovative economy in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania region, while Indonesia (61st), Vietnam (46th), and the Philippines (56th) are all part of the group of countries that has climbed the GII rankings fastest over the last decade.  


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