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China becoming important global player in innovation

China Daily Updated: 2022-07-22

Changes have taken place in China's position and role in the global innovation landscape, with the country becoming not only an important participant but also a major contributor to international frontier innovation, according to a report on global innovation.

The Boao Forum for Asian Innovation Report 2021, released on July 13 in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, indicates that China has strengthened the top-level design of scientific and technological innovation systems in the past decade, comprehensively promoting the reform of the innovation sector.

"Amid a transformation unseen in a century and growing uncertainties, innovation has become a primary driving force for scientific and technological progress, industrial upgrading and sustainable economic growth," said Li Baodong, secretary-general of Boao Forum for Asia.

China has established itself as a global leader in innovation, creation and intellectual property, ranking 12th in the Global Innovation Index 2021, a rise from 22nd in 2017, according to the report.

Among the top 100 best technology clusters in the world, a total of 19 cities on the Chinese mainland have entered the list, ranking second in the world, according to Li.

Innovative technologies, especially 5G and artificial intelligence, will accelerate the emergence of disruptive technologies, new economic forms and production methods, according to the report.

The report also indicated that the internet of things built on 5G technology is expected to become a driving force for the transformation of productivity, and data has become a key factor of production and a strategic resource.

Intellectual property, as the driving force of scientific and technological innovation, has gradually become the core element of international competitiveness and an important global trade resource, according to the report.

The global trade volume of intellectual property has increased rapidly in recent years, from $150 billion in 2000 to nearly $1 trillion in 2020, accounting for 9 percent of the total international trade in services, according to Li.

"China, with its more eye-catching performance in innovation, has become a main driving force for the development of intellectual property in the world," he said.

Through the Patent Cooperation Treaty, a widely used global indicator for innovative activities, Chinese applicants submitted 69,500 international patent applications in 2021, ranking first in the world for the third consecutive year.

The Hague Agreement and the Marrakesh Treaty, both of which entered into force in China in May, will help promote China's deep participation in global intellectual property governance under the framework of the world's intellectual property system, according to Li.

China has joined The Hague System for the International Registration for Industrial Designs, meaning a non-Chinese resident can secure international design protection in China, and the Marrakesh Treaty, which gives over 17 million blind and visually impaired people in China easier access to copyrighted works.

Innovation and intellectual property are playing an ever increasing role in the post-pandemic economic recovery, and are regarded as essential for promoting future sustainable development, according to Wang Binying, deputy director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

"The WIPO will continue its close cooperation with China at all levels and will continue to encourage extensive and effective use of the global intellectual property services by Chinese users," said Wang.

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