MANILA has jumped 12 notches in the Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 to 56th among 140 economies on the backbone of a strong labor market and macroeconomic stability.
Among the nine Southeast Asian economies covered by the survey, the Philippines landed as the fifth most competitive in the region. On the other hand, Singapore was second, Malaysia was 25th, Thailand 38th and Indonesia 45th.
The Philippines performed best in market size (32nd) and labor market (36th), and also made good strides in terms of financial system (39th) and business dynamism (39th). Its macroeconomic stability was ranked 43rd among the 140 countries covered.
However, Manila continues to lag in institutions (101st), health (101st) and infrastructure (92nd). It was also in the lower segment of the study on cost of starting a business (97th) and time to start a business days (115th).
Edgar O. Chua, president of the Makati Business Club, said the country is making strides on business dynamism and hopes this will carry on once the ease of doing business law is implemented. “The business dynamism in this report is primarily driven by the private sector’s aggressiveness mindset, in finding innovative ways to become more efficient and productive,” he said.
“We see companies integrating sustainability and innovation into their business models and harnessing the potential of technology to increase productivity—and this drives the continued growth of the Philippine economy,” Chua added.
However, this business optimism could be at risk by the country’s poor score on institutions. It was at the bottom of the survey in terms of terrorism incidence (136th), reliability of police services (123rd), conflict of interest regulation (121st) and organized crime (120th).
The index aligned the Philippines as one of the countries—along with Nigeria, Yemen, South Africa and Pakistan—with notable problems on violence, crime and terrorism and where police forces are unreliable. The report explained the relationship between the prevalence of organized crime and the perceived reliability of police is strikingly close.
“While we continuously build on our strong pillars, it is equally important to address our weak spots. The business community remains committed to work with the government to address these gaps, especially in our weakest links in ease of doing business, corruption incidence and infrastructure, particularly in road connectivity,” Chua argued.
The Global Competitiveness Report is an annual study by the World Economic Forum. Covering 140 economies, the report measures national competitiveness—defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity.
by: Elijah Felice Rosales, October 17, 2018
Source: Business Mirror
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