Global Innovation Index 2021: Vietnam ranks 44th & keeps first position among 34 lower-middle-income economies


That is information from a report on Global Innovation Index 2021 released by the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on September 20. Worldwide, Vietnam ranks 44th out of 132 countries and economies. The position is two places lower than the previous years of 2019 and 2020 (42nd) as a result of the newly calculated GDP data of Vietnam. However, Vietnam remains the leading nation of innovation index among 34 lower-middle-income countries. Together with Turkey, India, and the Philippines, Vietnam can potentially change the global innovation landscape and systematically approach the level of other economies like China. In the Asian region (not including Western Asia), Vietnam ranks behind Thailand but ahead of India and has the 8th position among 25 economies. Vietnam and the Philippines are considered world leaders in high-tech exports, while Thailand is top in Research & Development financed by business.

The report shows that investment in innovation has been remained over the last two years and is one of the sustainable directions for the world as well as for Vietnam in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the comments of Bùi Thế Duy, deputy minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). He proves that the investment in innovation in Vietnam has been manifested in the research results in many years which have been timely applied as measures and responses against the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of these are the production of COVID-19 test kit, development of robot serving for medical care and high flow oxygen generator, and undergoing research in the local Nanocovax vaccine.

Vietnam continues to be an exemplar for developing countries in the sense that it considers innovation as a nation’s priority, said Marco M. Aleman, Head of Innovation and Intellectual Property Ecosystem Agency and Assistant, Special Envoy to the Director-General of WIPO.

To improve the innovation index ranking, Sacha Wunsch Vincent, a senior expert of WIPO, recommends that, Vietnam should have policy solutions towards enterprises, increase the access of capital investment for start-up companies and promote outputs, particularly high-tech exports. Vietnam needs a strategic goal in fostering the diversity of innovation, said Andrew Micheal Ong, representative of the WIPO regional office in Pacific Asia. Other experts suggest that Vietnam should view the national innovation system as a whole, focus on universities and research institutes for generating knowledge, and focus on enterprises for applying knowledge into socio-economic development.

Vietnam has climbed up the ranking in the Global Innovation Index since 2013 after some years being just above 70th position. The Global Innovation Index considers seven factors of human capital and research, knowledge and technology output, infrastructure, market sophistication, business sophistication, creative outputs, institutions to rank the innovation performance of the world economies.

Sources & further information: “Việt Nam là hình mẫu về đổi mới sáng tạo tại các nước đang phát triển” at, “Vietnam ranks 44th in Global Innovation Index 2021” at, “WIPO report: Viet Nam places 44th in innovation ranking” at, and “Vietnam top innovator among lower middle-income economies: report” at, accessed on 23 September 2021.