DOST welcomes PH’s overperformance in frontier technology

Published March 29, 2021, 11:56 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has welcomed the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) Technology and Innovation Report 2021 showing that the Philippines is the second among overperforming countries in terms of readiness for frontier technologies.


DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña cited that the Philippines has exceeded expectations in terms of readiness for frontier technologies in relation to its per capita gross domestic product (GDP).

“The Technology and Innovation Report 2021 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)  revealed that the Philippines is second among overperforming countries in the Frontier Technologies Readiness Index because it performed better relative to its  per capita GDP,” he said in a report. 

“The Frontier Technologies Readiness Index measures the readiness of countries towards the use, adoption, and adaptation of frontier technologies which the Report defines as new and rapidly developing technologies that take advantage of digitalization and connectivity.”

De la Peña noted that the frontier technologies covered in the report were artificial intelligence, internet of things, big data, blockchain, 5G, 3D printing, robotics, drones, gene editing, nanotechnology, and solar photovoltaic.  

“The estimated value of frontier technologies is $350 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $3.2 trillion in 2025,” he said.

Citing the 2021 UNCTAD Technology and Innovation Report, published on Feb. 25, de la Peña said the 10 top countries which were identified to be most prepared were the United States of America, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Singapore, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Ireland, Germany, and Denmark.   

“Most countries in the top ten list have a high per capita income since they have more resources and capacities to make investments,” he said. 

 “But aside from per capita income, the following were also associated with the readiness index:  policies, institutions, factor endowments, and historical events.  Some countries were considered as outliers because they performed better than their per capita GDP would suggest,” he added. 

The top 10 overperforming countries in the readiness index were India, Philippines, Ukraine, Vietnam, China, Jordan, Brazil, Republic of Moldova, South Africa, and Tunisia.  

De la Peña noted that overperformance was measured as the difference between the actual index rating and the estimated index ranking based on per capita income. 

Based on the report, the five building blocks of the index were ICT deployment, skills, research and development (R&D), industry activity and access to finance.  

“The Philippines has a high ranking for industry.  This reflects high levels of FDI in high-technology manufacturing, particularly electronics.  MNEs are attracted by the country’s strong supply chains and solid base of parts manufacturing.  The Philippines also has pro-business policies along with a skilled, and English-speaking workforce, and a network of economic zones,” the UNCTAD report said.