The Global Innovation Index 2012 (GII) published by INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), has just come out and lists many South East Asian nations.
Singapore is in the top 3. Not surprising, given the number of patents per capita is high. Still however there is an innovation divide the report says. High income countries innovate more. Malaysia is one of the innovation learners moving fast towards a fully innovative economy (defined to include government policy and actions as well as individual innovation). Thailand and interestingly Vietnam also appear to do well.
Countries that struggle more include Philippines and Indonesia, both down in the 90 - 100 ranking of countries.
IP Komodo, who peers at patent data after his daily goat dinner, thinks this is a pretty accurate view, although Vietnam he thinks needs to demonstrate more outputs than at present to justify its position. Thailand definitely produces more patents than Indonesia and Philippines, which both struggle to develop strong local creativity and innovation in terms of real economic outputs.