THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said more investment is needed in science and technology to improve its Global Innovation Index ranking.

“To continually improve our position, we need to address weaknesses by investing in science, technology, engineering, arts and math education and vocational training programs that focus on skill-building for the future,” Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba told BusinessWorld in a Viber message.

She added that innovation could also be unlocked through diversification into higher-value industries and services and simplifying regulations to make businesses focus more on innovating rather than dealing with bureaucratic hurdles.

The Philippines rose three spots to 56th out of 132 economies in the Global Innovation Index 2023 compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Ms. Aldaba said improving the Philippine ranking would be an excellent indicator of progress.

“But it should also serve as a catalyst for continuous improvement and strategic planning to ensure that the positive trend continues,” she added.

She said that what contributed to the improvement are the firms “offering sophistication and high-tech imports along with improvements in market sophistication covering credit, investment, trade, diversification and markets.”

The Philippines ranked 69th in innovation inputs against 76th a year earlier. It placed 52nd in innovation outputs, one spot lower.

Its best category was business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs, and market sophistication, but was worst-placed in human capital and research, infrastructure, and institutions. — Justine Irish D. Tabile