SYDNEY, July 19(Xinhua) -- China has been singled out for its embrace of economically innovative thought leadership during the release of the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) Friday, on the sidelines of the B20 and G20 Trade Minister's meetings in Sydney.
While Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Sweden, traditional big-hitters in the innovation space, topped this year's Index, Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) praised Chinese leadership and responsiveness in the economically anxious global climate.
Gurry told Xinhua that the world's fastest growing economy had sought, and achieved new levels of inspiration that would benefit itself and "the rest of the world in years to come."
"Innovation is the basis of competition in the global economy. This underlines the importance of measuring capacity to innovate through the Global Innovation Index and of China's strategy to move from Made in China to Created in China."
The GII executive summary noted that alone among the BRICS, China "seems on track to enter the top 25 in the GII","China ranks second in innovation efficiency in 2014 on a global basis and is improving steadily along many dimensions of the GII."
Among Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS), four improved their positions. Brazil rose by three places to reach the 61st rank, the Russian Federation by 13 places to reach the 49th, and China by six places to reach the 29th, and South Africa by five places to reach the 53rd.
The progress of China and the Russian Federation in the rankings is among the most notable of all countries; China's ranking is now comparable to that of many high-income economies. India, however, slips 10 places to the 76th position this year.
The index lauded China's "impressive" second position in the Knowledge and Technology outputs pillar and shows decent improvements in the Creative outputs pillar, ranking the first in Creative goods exports.
In further good news, ahead of a G20 Trade Ministers meeting that will seek to further align developing and developed economies, Sub-Saharan Africa posted significant regional improvement in the annual rankings.
The GII 2014 surveys 143 economies around the world, using 81 indicators to gauge both their innovation capabilities and measurable results.
Published annually since 2007, the GII is now a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others seeking insight into the state of innovation around the world.
This year's study involves partners around the globe, including the Confederation of Indian Industry, Chinese mobile giant Huawei and an Advisory Board of 14 international experts.
Taking into account the stutters and splutters of a slowdown in the growth of global research and development, the theme of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2014, "The Human Factor in Innovation", has focused attention on exploring the role of human capital in the innovation process.
According to Gurry, the theme tracks the growing interest that firms and governments have shown in identifying and energizing creative individuals and teams.
"The improvement in performance of China reflects the sustained strategic efforts on the part of China to place innovation at the very forefront of success," Gurry told Xinhua.
"Another indication of the success of these efforts is the movement by China into "third highest filer of international patent applications - overtaking Germany," he added.
Australia's Federal Minister for Industry Ian MacFarlane endorsed the GII's Asia-Pacific launch, as he took time out from Australia's intensive preparations here as host the annual Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders Summit in November.
"We understand that efforts to increase prosperity depend on innovation, creativity and a focus on new global markets, as well as a strong intellectual property system, which is a central part of the growth agenda being discussed by the G20," Macfarlane told reporters.
"Innovation is at the heart of a job-rich, strong, sustainable and balanced growth pathas envisioned by the G20 leadership," Macfarlane said.