New Zealand in Top 10 on Asian Creative Productivity Index
A new Creative Productivity Index ranks New Zealand sixth out of 22 Asia Pacific countries which are most efficient at turning creative inputs into tangible innovation.
The Creative Productivity Index was developed by the Asian Development Bank and Economist Intelligence Unit to give policymakers a tool to assess how best to foster innovation and creativity in Asian economies.
Japan was ranked as the most efficient of the diverse group of countries that span some of the richest and poorest nations in the world.
Finland and the US were included for comparison and ranked second and 4th respectively, followed by Taipei and Hong Kong. South Korea was third and Australia sat in 8th position. Myanmar, Pakistan, and Cambodia were ranked as the least efficient innovators.
The index used 36 indicators to measure capacity and incentives for innovation, including how many global top 500 ranked universities a country has, the urbanisation rate and spending on research and development. The number of patents filed, value added to agricultural commodities and the number of books and films produced are among eight indicators of creative production used.
Bindu N. Lohani, Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development at the Asian Development Bank, said developing countries need to make sure investments in their economies boost efficiency and productivity to allow them to achieve higher living standards.
“As countries seek to innovate to avoid middle-income traps, all governments – especially those with limited resources – need to be sure that their investments boost both efficiency and productivity, benefiting their economies and people, and move to a knowledge-based economy,” said Lohani.
The Creative Productivity Index differs from existing innovation-related indices by focusing on how efficiently countries turn their creative inputs into innovation outputs rather than just the absolute level of creative inputs. This allows countries to seek the most effective – and affordable – innovation investments. It also captures elements of creativity that are more relevant in less developed countries, such as agricultural innovation.
The full report can be accessed from the Asian Development Bank’s website.
NEW ZEALAND NARRATIVE
New Zealand is ranked sixth out of 24 economies and has a high level of creative productivity. It outperforms on most dimensions of creative inputs, but performs averagely on infrastructure, owing to relatively low scores on public spending on R&D and the proportion of paved roads. In terms of output, the country performs exceptionally well on creative industry and agricultural outputs. Scope for improvement remains in scientific outputs.
The country ranks in third place for its human capital, with high scores for mean years of schooling and the gross enrolment ratio in secondary school, as well as a relatively urbanised population. New Zealand’s relative strengths lie in its good governance and sound financial institutions.
The country has a stable democratic framework of government and an efficient, corruption-free public service and judiciary (New Zealand was ranked joint first out of 176 economies in Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index). The financial sector is fairly open and financial regulation is of a high standard. New Zealand’s highest scores in this area are for access to credit and availability of microfinance.
New Zealand’s score for infrastructure should improve in the coming years. Work is under way on the government’s NZ$6.5bn (US$4.7bn) Roads of National Significance programme. According to the New Zealand Transport Agency, 92% of freight (by weight) within the country is transported by road, and “With less time and money spent transporting goods, more investment can be made in productive assets and increasing wages, which continues to fuel economic expansion.”
On the output side, more investment is needed to boost the number of patents per capita (the number of IP filings declined from 3,061 in 2011 to 2,856 in 2012) and to increase innovation in the agricultural sector; although New Zealand’s cereal yield is high, ranked behind only that of the Republic of Korea in the index, it has a score of only 51 for agricultural value added per worker.
Original article by The Australian, 17 September 2014
Additional information from the Asian Development Bank
Image credit: Asian Development Bank