Corporate research and development spending in 2009 declined in most Western countries but increased 40% in China, AP reported, citing data released by the European Union on Tuesday. Research spending by European companies fell 2.6% as their sales declined 10.1%. In the US, research spending by firms decreased 5.1%. Japan and other Asian countries maintained high R&D investment levels, and some economies made significant increases. Hong Kong’s corporate R&D spending was up 14.8%, South Korea was up 9.1% and Taiwan increased 3.1%. India upped spending by 27.3%. The EU report said Japanese carmaker Toyota (TM.NYSE, 7203.TYO) was the world’s biggest corporate spender on R&D in 2009, investing US$9.5 billion. It was followed by pharmaceutical giant Roche (VTX.ROG) with US$9.1 billion and by Microsoft (MSFT.NASDAQ) with US$8.4 billion.
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