Low spending on science, technology affecting competitiveness - study

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spending on science and technology in Mexico in the past five years has grown steadily, although it is still very low compared to resources allocated by more competitive countries in the world, CNN Expansión reported, citing data from Mexico's center for the study of public finances (CEFP).

Mexico's approved budgets for technology and science grew 1.92% this year. But to reach the average of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries, the country would have to increase such spending to 2.28% of its GDP, according to the CEFP.

This last figure would be equal to 323bn pesos (US$26.3bn), or 10 times the budgeted amount.

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If the country continues to underinvest in these areas, its international competitiveness might be affected in the medium to long term, according to the report.

OECD statistics ranked Mexico last among member countries in terms of science and technology spending 1999, with 0.39% of its GDP. The country remained in last place in 2008, with 0.37% of GDP.

Mexico spends less on science and technology compared to not only higher per capita income countries such as Israel, Sweden, and Finland, but also countries with a similar level of development, such as Chile and Brazil, or even compared to those with lower income levels such as India and China, according to CEFP data.