Singapore ranks 5th in the latest Intellectual Property Rights Index (IPRI), but its overall score dropped slightly along with China, which places at 53rd on the global index.
Published by the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation's Property Rights Alliance, the annual index was first released in 2007 to assess the status of property rights protection worldwide. This year's report included 129 countries and 98.66 percent of the world's GDP and 93.56 percent of the global population. Scores were calculated based on various factors around three key components: legal and political environment; physical property rights; and intellectual property rights.
Singapore's IPRI score dipped by 0.1 to 8.1, placing it 5th globally and second in the Asia and Oceania regional group. Its overall showing was dragged down by decreased scores in its legal and political environment and physical property rights, including in the areas of judicial independence, control of corruption, property rights, and ease of access to loans. Its IPR component score remained unchanged.
China's IPRI score also fell by 0.1 to 5.4, and the country ranked 9th in the Asia and Oceania regional category. It saw dips across the three key components, including in areas concerning judicial independence, property rights, and ease of access to loans.
India also saw its score drop slightly to 5.2, placing it 62nd globally and 10th in the regional category. It saw dips across the three key components including in the areas of property rights and intellectual property protection. Its political stability score, though, climbed slightly to 2.6 while its rule of law and control of corruption remained unchanged.
Ranked 12th globally, Australia's IPRI score fell by 0.1 to 7.7, which placed the country 4th in the Asia and Oceania regional group. It saw dips across the legal and political environment as well as physical property rights components, including in the areas of control of corruption, judicial independence, and ease of access to loans. Its intellectual property rights component remained unchanged.
In the report's introduction, Hernando De Soto, President for the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, wrote: "The statistical strength between economic independence and protection of property rights in the 2015 IPRI continues the trend observed in the previous eight editions of the index.
"Countries that institute and protect a system of property rights experience significant economic growth and prosperity compared to countries that fail to do so," De Soto said, noting that many countries still lacked a robust system of property rights. More access to data, though, could drive improvement in this aspect, he said.
"While the connection between economic growth and property rights is understood now more than ever, universal improvements must be made in order to keep up with an increasingly regulated global economy," he added. "Developing economies struggle as weak protectionist policies over intellectual and physical property rights become more prevalent. Free trade agreements between nations must be utilised to extend property protections beyond the borders of nation states."
He urged the need for socioeconomic structures to be established to sustain economic growth and for property rights to be extended to all citizens, in particular, those living in subpar economic conditions.