THE Philippines improved its sustainable trade ranking by three notches to land on 10th among 19 economies in the Asia Pacific (Aspac), according to an international study.
The Philippines placed 10th this year from 13th in 2016 in the latest cycle of the Hinrich Foundation Sustainable Trade Index. Although its economic performance declined by six notches in the survey, its social index went up to 11th from 19th, while its environmental pillar remained stable at sixth.
“The Philippine had the second-lowest levels of air pollution on the 2018 index, outscored only by Sri Lanka. Air pollution is measured by levels of particular matter 2.5 in a country,” the report read in citing the country’s top performance.
“The Philippines scored last on the growth in labor force indicator, which measures the year-on-year change in a country’s labor force. A growing labor force supports economic growth and a country’s ability to continue trading, and could pose problems for the Philippines in the future,” the report added, this time in citing where the country performed worst.
Under economic pillar, the study claimed the Philippines shows an openness to trade based on its performance in the tariff and nontariff barriers. It also scored well in terms of the foreign direct investment indicator, which measures inward FDI as a share of gross domestic product. However, the Philippines registered some of the highest trade costs in the region.
“The trade costs indicator uses a composite of four factors—infrastructure, logistics, corruption and legal system—to capture the extra burden to trade created by inefficiencies in the trading system. The Philippines scored in the bottom five economies for this indicator with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia,” the report read.
On the other hand, Manila’s social pillar was well acclaimed in the study, particularly the educational attainment indicator, which measures total enrollment within a country for tertiary education as a share of the percentage of population of the corresponding age group.
The study took note of the government’s law on universal access to quality tertiary education last year.
The Philippines was also commended for having the second- lowest level of air pollution among the respondent-countries. “The Philippines also recorded a ranking increase in the transfer emissions indicator. However, this was largely due to worsening performance by other countries rather than a better performance by the Philippines,” the study explained.
Overall, the country placed 10th behind Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, China and Vietnam. The index measures the readiness of each economy to participate in global trade in a way that promotes sustainable growth, encourages FDI and attracts funding from multilateral development agencies.
By: Elijah Felice Rosales, September 5, 2018
Source: Business Mirror
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