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PH eyes spot among top business-friendly nations

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez is targeting to break the country into the top 20 business-friendly economies by 2020 after years of being among the laggards.

During the 5th Annual Ease of Doing Business Summit on Wednesday, Lopez said it was possible to reach the target if business processes were not only streamlined, but also automated. He said this “may help the overall score for the ease of doing business.”
In the World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business Report released in October last year, the Philippines ranked 99th out of 190 economies, up only by a few notches from 103rd previously. It was far behind other Asian neighbors.

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The report has become a closely watched measure among foreign investors.

“Remember, as we are doing these improvements … the other countries are also doing theirs. So, it’s really a race. We are improving and they are also improving so it’s possible that our ranking wouldn’t move. That’s why we have to sprint. We have to jump and target where we want to be,” Lopez said.

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To reach the goal, he said automation of business processes in both national and local governments should already happen by 2018.

“[This is] so that when we are assessed by the first quarter of 2019 for the October report, we should [already] see an improvement [in the rankings],” he said.

According to National Competitiveness Council (NCC) private sector co-chair Guillermo Luz, the largest jump in recent memory had been 30 notches when the country reached the 108th spot in the Doing Business 2013 report.

To make the trade chief’s vision a reality, the country needs to leapfrog at least 79 notches in the next few years.

In a separate statement, NCC said it had partnered with the New Zealand government, which currently tops the Doing Business survey, for a technical assistance program on ways to streamline and automate government procedures.

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TAGS: 5th Annual Ease of Doing Business Summit, business-friendly nations, Secretary Ramon M. Lopez
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