Despite the sabre rattling between North Korea and the
U.S., the economy in South Korea continues to expand on
increasing exports and moderating inflation. South Korea’s
economy grew in the third quarter at the fastest rate (1.4%) in
seven years – a 6.1% increase in exports helped third quarter
growth. Provided conflict with North Korea is avoided, South
Korea’s economy is expected to continue to grow strongly
over the next 12 months. Korea’s R&D is forecast to grow by
3.3% in 2018 to $88.2 billion, giving it a 4% share of the global
R&D investment, down slightly from 4.1% in 2017.
Asia’s fourth largest economy (behind China, Japan and
India) has been riding an unexpectedly strong export cycle on
demand for memory chips. Exports grew 13.5% in 2017 from
2016 levels and have posted double-digit growth for three
months in a row from July to October 2017.
A recent OECD report noted that Korea tops the ranks of
direct government funding and tax support for business R&D
in the Asia-Pacific region. Korea and Japan were also listed as
the Asia-Pacific regions top investors in ICT equipment and
information services, allocating 54% and 26% of total business R&D expenditures, respectively. The same report notes
that Korea consistently ranks high in terms of creating IP patents—second to the U.S. in mobile communication patents,
first with human interface patents, second to Japan in imaging
and second to Japan in information communication devices.
India is ranked sixth in terms of global R&D investments, increasing its R&D by 8.3% in 2018 to $83.3 billion. By increasing its R&D above the global average, India also improved its
share of the global R&D total ($2.19 trillion in 2018) from
3.7% in 2017 to 3.8% in 2018. India is the world’s seventh
largest economy, but growing faster than any other country
except for China. And by 2050, India is expected to be the
world’s second largest economy behind China. India has a
population of 1.34 billion and will overtake China as the most
populous country in just six years by 2024.
And by 2050, India is expected to be the world’s second
largest economy behind China.
India has 25 innovation centers throughout the country and
has been ranked as the top innovation destination in Asia. A
pool of low-cost, highly skilled, English-speaking workers has
attracted massive flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) into
the country. The outsourcing of knowledge-intensive activities
And by 2050, India is expected
to be the world’s second largest
economy behind China.
contributed to make the services sector the largest contributor to
India’s GDP and the presence of multinationals’ R&D centers has
accelerated beyond the service sector. India’s research output and
non-technological innovations are still limited. Low graduation
rates and overall poor quality of education have hampered the
development of India’s human resources for innovation.
Singapore is the 20th largest investor in R&D with R&D growing
2.6% in 2018 to $13.5 billion. Like many other Asian countries,
its economy is expecting 3% growth in 2017—ahead of the forecast 2% to 3%. The country is in the midst of a $14 billion plan
to expand the country’s R&D efforts by 2020. The Research Innovation Enterprises 2020 (RIE 2020) plan seeks to support and
translate research into solutions that address national challenges
for Singapore, build up innovation and technology adoption
in companies, and drive economic growth. The RIE 2020 plan
is focusing efforts on supporting advanced manufacturing and
engineering, health and biomedical sciences, services and the
digital economy, and urban solutions and sustainability. These
four domains are being supported by programs in academic
research, manpower, and innovation and enterprise.
Taiwan is the 14th largest R&D investor with $28.7 billion
expected to be spent on R&D in 2018. It also has the 18th largest weighted fractional count (WFC) of scientific papers, ahead
of most EU countries and just behind Israel, according to the
Nature Index. And while China, Japan and Korea overpower
most of Taiwan’s R&D efforts due to sheer size, Taiwan has
more R&D collaborations with the U.S. than does Japan or
Singapore. Recently, Taiwan established an artificial intelligence
(AI) industry-academia alliance targeted at bringing Taiwan
onto the AI global stage. AI is seen as a key factor in Taiwan’s
national competitiveness goals.