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US trails as innovation destination: global CEO study

Inadequate technical education, tax policies, and lax intellectual property protections in emerging countries threaten US innovation competitiveness.
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Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributor on

PwC just released the results of a study, conducted in conjunction with The Wall Street Journal, that looked at the concerns and plans of CEOs regarding innovation. Overall, the study finds that the US has slipped as a destination for innovation-related investments.

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Of 40 countries assessed, only the US has not increased its innovation capacity or international competitiveness over the past decade, the report observes. The US, for one, ranks low on the list of attractiveness for innovation investments among many of the world's businesses.

Emerging countries such as China and India are considered the most attractive countries in which to invest in innovation.

Countries most attractive for innovation:

  • For North American-based corporations:  US (38%), China (17%), India (15%)
  • Western Europe-based corporations: Western Europe (26%), China (26%), India (16%), US (10%)
  • Asia Pacific-based: India (39%), China (13%), Africa (9%), US (9%)
  • BRIC-based: India (25%), Africa (20%), China (19%), US (5%)

Factors holding back innovation investments in the US include inadequate technical training and education of workers, as well as an inadequate tax credit for research and development, ranking 17th among 30 developed nations. In addition, 40% of the surveyed CEOs say inadequate intellectual property protections in developing countries threaten US competitiveness.

In addition, the report observes, global production and markets are increasing at such a rapid rate that by 2030, more than 90% of global middle-class spending will happen outside North America. Currently, 26% of this spending is in the domestic economy.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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