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Egypt 4th least innovative country in region

Only about 7 percent of Egyptian manufacturing firms implemented product or process innovation in the past year.

Last year, the Council on Foreign Relations wrote: “The Japanese and U.S. governments have placed increased emphasis on innovation as a core component of economic growth policies to boost job creation and economic competitiveness. They have also identified it as an important element in bilateral economic cooperation.”

Consistently innovating and creating new processes and products is essential for an economy’s growth – especially in Egypt.

The Global Innovation Index is an annual report published by Cornell University, which analyses and evaluates the dynamics of innovation in 142 countries.

Being a lower middle income country, Egypt ranked 108 of 142 countries in the Global Innovation Index 2013, dropping 5 places compared to last year.

In the North African and Western Asian region, Egypt conquered place 17 out of 20 economies in terms of innovation, followed only by Syria, Algeria and Yemen. Israel and Cyprus were the regional leaders this year.

Egypt is the 42nd easiest country to start a business, 32nd strongest in terms of number of joint venture / strategic alliance deals and the 4th least country with Foreign Direct Investment net inflows.

According to the report, the country’s strengths lie mostly in the infrastructure sector, while its weaknesses are mainly found within institutional frameworks.

Below is a list of both strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the report. To read and download the full report, please click here.


- Ease of starting a business

- Pupil-teacher ratio in secondary education

- Research and development, especially in the university ranking

- Information and communication technologies infrastructure

- Government’s online service infrastructure

- E-participation

- Logistics performance

- Total value of stocks traded

- Knowledge-intensive employment

- JV-strategic alliance deals

- Citable documents index

- Royalty and license fees receipts


- Political environment and stability

- Press freedom

- Cost of redundancy dismissal and salary weeks

- Regulatory environment

- Gross tertiary education outbound enrolment

- Market sophistication

- Intensity of local competition

- University/industry research collaboration

- Patent families filed in 3+ offices

- Knowledge absorption

- FDI net inflows

- Growth rate of PPP$ GDP/worker

- New businesses

- Computer software spending

- Printing and publishing manufacturers

- Country Code TLDs