The annual global ranking assessing the innovation capabilities of 132 economies has reported its results and Thailand stands firm at the 43rd rank, echoing the previous year’s standing. Coming in third amongst its Asean counterparts after Singapore which secures the 5th global rank and Malaysia, the 36th, Thailand upholds its position with a notable leap to the 22nd spot in the Market Sophistication category out of 132 countries.
Rachapruk Phakka, the esteemed director of Thailand’s National Innovation Agency (NIA), points out that Thailand’s performance comfortably surpasses the worldwide average on various factors. With its rank standing 9th out of 16 countries in the East and Southeast Asia region, the nation’s solid presence in the Asean 3rd position continues undeterred.
The strength of Thailand’s impressive rank lies in the research domain where an extensive array of proficient researchers continually churn out a medley of breakthrough innovations. This is complemented by the private sector’s enthusiastic investment in research and development, making considerable strides towards advancement.
Further in its assessment, the WIPO also gauged cities on the basis of their performance in the GII Science and Technology Clusters. Here, the city of Bangkok demonstrated impressive growth among other cluster cities, while it is yet to carve its position into the top 100. The significance of Science and Technology Clusters cannot be overstated as they serve as key determinants of a country’s innovation ecosystem.
Supamas Isarabhakdi, the Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, emphasizes the influential role of the private sector in dynamizing innovation. The government steps in to raise awareness, foster collaboration, and steer Thailand pursuit towards evolving into an innovation powerhouse, with a challenging GII target of 30 by 2030.
To bring this objective to fruition, Thailand has laid out a comprehensive six-point game plan. Included in this strategic blueprint are the government positioning itself as a sandbox and accelerator for innovation, stepping up investment related to research utilisation, and establishing innovative financial markets and tech capital markets. The road map also encompasses multiplying innovative start-ups to transform the business landscape, promoting patent registration, and employing patents to heighten the value of goods and services. Further imperative is putting emphasis on encouraging originality and culture, especially in sectors like tourism, food, fashion, and entertainment.
Natchanika Jidnarong, a distinguished industrial property specialist at the Department of Intellectual Property in Thailand, underlines patent registrations’ critical importance. With high innovation index countries such as Malaysia and Singapore boasting a substantial number of registered intellectual properties, it’s evident that valuing intellectual property is increasingly important for entrepreneurs and innovators in Thailand. This, in turn, provides a clear indication of the nation’s thriving innovation environment.