PARIS - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced Wednesday that China had spent more on research and development in absolute terms than the European Union (EU) for the first time in 2014.
OECD said China had invested 2.05 percent of its GDP (gross domestic product) in R&D (research and development) in 2014, passing the 2 percent goal set in its 2006-2010 economic plan. During the same period, the 28-member EU averaged 1.94 percent, well below the bloc's target to spend 3 percent of GDP on R&D by 2020.
In volume terms at current prices, China's 2014 R&D spending was equivalent to 102 percent of the EU total, and stood at to 80 percent of the US level shown in 2013 OECD's statistics.
According to OECD, China's R&D spending has risen steadily from 0.57 percent of GDP in 1995. It surpassed Britain in 2011 and the EU in 2012, as a share of GDP. EU R&D spending has risen only gradually from 1.60 percent of GDP in 1995.
OECD noted that the 9 percent rise in China's 2014 R&D spending was its lowest growth rate in real terms since 1996.
The data of OECD showed that South Korea spent 4.29 percent of its GDP on R&D in 2014, followed by Israel at 4.11 percent. In third place, Japan spent 3.58 percent.
In 2014, OECD countries spent an average of 2.37 percent of GDP on R&D, unchanged from 2013. Annual spending rose 2.1 percent in real terms in 2014 in the OECD area, down from 2.8 percent in 2013. Most of the growth is from business R&D (up 2.8 percent), while R&D spending in government institutions rose just 1.0 percent and R&D in higher education slipped by 0.2 percent.