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Singapore among 16 ‘Innovation Champion’ countries, says CES organiser

It was rated highly for indicators such as broadband, human capital and tax friendliness but was marked down for freedom and short-term rentals, the 2019 International Innovation Scorecard shows.

Singapore among 16 ‘Innovation Champion’ countries, says CES organiser

People taking in the view of the city skyline along Marina Bay in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN)

LAS VEGAS: Singapore was among 16 countries identified as an “Innovation Champion” by the organisers of annual consumer electronics trade show CES on Tuesday (Jan 8).

In the second edition of its International Innovation Scorecard, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) said 16 countries ranked in the top tier, with Estonia, Switzerland and Finland achieving the highest composite scores, respectively. 

Singapore came in fifth, slightly behind the United States.

The rest are: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

READ: Powerbank sharing and 'smart' helmets: Singapore start-ups aim for CES 2019 splash

In the country-level deep-dive report, CTA said Singapore scored highly for being open to innovation and was the first country to test self-driving taxis. It added that more than half of the workforce is highly skilled, while it raised its score in the ride-sharing indicator after passing clear guidelines for ride-sharing operators.

Broadband was another area that ranked well, with CTA noting its mean download speed of fixed and mobile Internet is “fast” at 60.4 Mbps. 

The monthly cost of fixed broadband is also considerably lower than countries like Australia and New Zealand: It is 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI) per capita, compared with 1.1 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

The country also topped the diversity scorecard, with immigrants making up 46 per cent of the population, the report showed.

That said, there are areas the country can improve in, the CTA report said. 

“Singapore can improve its levels of both personal and political freedom. Also, it could lift its three-month threshold for private rentals and ease strict fines imposed on short-term rental hosts,” it stated. 

The International Innovation Scorecard considers a range of indicators to determine the final country ranking, with the 2019 edition adding 23 countries to the list including Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.  

Source: CNA/kk(rw)


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