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PH competitiveness ranking remains low

Improves to 46th out of 63 worldwide, but still 2nd to last in Asia-Pacific
/ 05:06 AM May 29, 2019

The Philippines boosted its ranking by four notches in the 2019 global competitiveness research by Swiss business school IMD, with the country’s skilled workforce, economic dynamism, cost-competitiveness, open and positive attitudes and high educational level of people cited among the most compelling reasons for business locators.

The IMD World Competitiveness Center ranked the Philippines 46th among 63 economies evaluated, improving its position from 50th in the previous year, the think tank of business school IMD said in a press statement on Tuesday.

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Compared to 13 Asia-Pacific countries included in the survey, however, the Philippines ranked second to the last, beating only Mongolia.

The five topnotchers in the Asia-Pacific region were Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Australia. New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and India also ranked higher than the Philippines.

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Based on the study, the Philippines still needed to speed up and sustain investments in physical infrastructure, reverse “inadequate” investment in human capital, address “poor” digital competitiveness and future-readiness and sustain investor and consumer confidence. “Persistent” political risks were also cited as another stumbling block.

The improvement in the country’s ranking to 46th position, however, was attributed to a solid economic performance supported by sustained real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.2 percent in 2018 alongside an increase in labor force and employment levels.

IMD has published the rankings every year since 1989, evaluating the extent to which a country fosters an environment where enterprises can achieve sustainable growth, generate jobs and, ultimately, increase welfare for its citizens. It scored the 63 economies on more than 230 indicators.

The evaluation was grouped in four factors: economic performance (including international trade and international investment); government efficiency (including governmental discipline with internal financing, the rule of law and the improvement of inclusive institutions); business efficiency, (including productivity and efficiency of the private sector and ease of access to finance), and infrastructure (including scientific infrastructure, health and environmental sustainability as well as education).

Compared to the previous year, the IMD research cited improvements in the Philippine government’s budget position, collection of effective personal income tax rate, capital formation, tourism receipts, easing of protectionism and creation of firms.

Likewise cited were new pieces of scientific legislation alongside improvements in communication, technology, entry of foreign investors, total expenditure on research and development, easing of start-up procedures, implementation of public sector contracts, knowledge transfer, total public expenditure on education and development and application of technology.

On the other hand, the same study noted a decline in the Philippines’ current-account balance, inflation, total tax revenue collection, compensation levels, exchange rate stability, per capita income of researchers, remuneration in service professions, stock market capitalization, incidences of bribery and corruption, electricity costs for industrial clients, gasoline prices, homicide counts, days for a start-up to operate and access to water.

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TAGS: cost-competitiveness, economic dynamism, skilled workforce
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