The recent OECD report Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2006
forecasts that, by the end of 2006, China
will for the first time spend more on research and development (R&D) than Japan and will become the world’s second highest investor in R&D
, behind only the United States. According to OECD, recent trends allow for the prediction that for the whole 2006, China will spend over USD 136 billion on R&D, while the investment in the same sector in the USA will be around USD 330 billion, and in Japan – USD 130 billion. The estimations for the EU-15, including France, Germany and the UK,
amount to USD 230 billion.
The report highlights also that in China
spending on R&D as a percentage of GDP has more than doubled between 1995 and 2004 – from 0.6% to 1.2%; in current prices, this is translated as an increase from USD 17 billion in 1995 to USD 94 billion in 2004;
the growth of R&D investment is rising even faster than the China’s economy growth, which is 9%–10% per year;
for 1995 – 2004, the number of researchers has increased by 77% and is currently estimated at some 926 000 researchers, which makes China rank second worldwide also in this category, just behind the United States (more than 1.3 million).