Monday, November 8, 2010

CDG get points for the CDI

Yep, you guessed it, it's the 2010 Commitment to Development Index. Go ahead. See where your favourite country stacks up. 

The report has a fantastic breakdown of each rich country's strengths and weaknesses in supporting development through aid, trade, investment, migration, security, environment and technology. Point for comprehensive development indices!

Think Sweden might be a shining beacon of development assistance? Well, you would be right, as it scored highest overall. However, not surprisingly, in the technology category it scored solidly below average. Here's why: 

  • Low tax subsidy rate to businesses for R&D (rank: 20)
  • Offers patent-like proprietary rights to developers of data compilations, including those assembled from data in the public domain 
  • Large share of government R&D expenditure on defense (1.0%; rank: 17)  
  • Pushes to incorporate into bilateral free trade agreements "TRIPS-Plus" measures that restrict the flow of innovations to developing countries

While I can't get on board criticizing their subsidy policy regarding R&D (seems to be working!), their adherence to TRIPS-Plus is downright boneheaded. This policy program restricts WTO members to a prohibitive intellectual property rights regime and continues to do real damage to development.

(Also look how poorly Canada scores for environment! Why? Ahem:   1. High greenhouse gas emissions rate per capita (21.7 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent; rank: 21)  and  2. Poor compliance with mandatory reporting requirements under multilateral environmental agreements relating to biodiversity (rank: 18))

Point for fun-time graphs, and one for pretty country report graphics too!

CDG: 3, Tea Party: 0 (?)

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