Innovation, Trade, and Technology Policies in Asia-Pacific Economies: A Scorecard

December 5, 2011

APEC economies possess a unique opportunity to move beyond facilitating trade in existing products and services to fostering the world’s leading regional environment in which both the production—and ensuing trade and usage—of innovative new products and services is maximized, thereby driving economic growth and improving the quality of life for citizens not just in APEC economies, but worldwide. To make this a reality, APEC members will need to foster open economies that allow the free flow of capital, people, ideas, goods, and services across borders in ways that promote competition. However, to realize this vision, member economies will have to not only rethink their approach to trade and investment, but also embrace critical core innovation principles. Indeed, economies are unlikely to achieve sustainably high rates of innovation if their governments have not put in place a broad range of innovation-enabling policies that create the conditions in which organizations throughout an economy—whether private enterprises, government agencies, or non-profit entities—can successfully innovate. To help them do so, this report provides a structured assessment of policies informing the innovation capacity of the 21 APEC member economies. Moreover, it highlights the most effective policies APEC members have used to build their innovation capacity and describes how APEC members can learn from one another.

The report assesses APEC member economies on their strength in six core policy areas:

1. Open and non-discriminatory trade, market access, foreign direct investment, and standards policies;

2. Science and research and development (R&D) policies that spur innovation;

3. Digital policies that enable robust deployment of information and communications technology (ICT) platforms that support a broad range of digital applications;

4. Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection policies;

5. Robustness of domestic competition and new firm entry;

6. Open and transparent government procurement policies.