Asia 'leads Europe' in science spending
By Wagdy Sawahel, SciDev.Net, 23 January 2006.
China has played a major role in helping Asia overtake Europe in research and development spending, according to a report released last month (December 2005) by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).The story is echoed in "China challenging US and Europe in scientific research" (China Educational and Research Network, 2006-01-23).
It says that from 1997 to 2002, Asian funding from public and private sources rose by four per cent, enabling Asia to account for 32 per cent of global research spending.
In those five years, China's share of global spending more than doubled, from four to nine per cent.
Meanwhile, the Latin America and the Caribbean region's share of the global total fell from 3.1 per cent to 2.6 per cent.
"Three countries — Brazil, Mexico and Argentina — account for 85 per cent of the region's [research spending], leaving the remainder with average expenditures of no more than 0.1 per cent of GDP — with the small but notable exception of Cuba, at 0.6 per cent," says the report.
Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa contributed just 0.1 per cent of the global total.