Further Competitiveness Rank Rise Seen

MANILA, Philippines - Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said Thursday that the Philippine government will continue inching up in the global competitiveness ranking in the coming years as the Aquino administration focuses on country's macroeconomic fundamentals.

Following the Philippines’ significant improvement in the 2011-2012 World Economic Forum World Competitiveness Report, Purisima said in a statement that the government will work on putting the country at the top quartile of the rankings by 2016.

According to the report, the Philippines rose by 10 places – the biggest jump the Philippines has ever made – from 85th to 75th. It was also one of the biggest gains posted by a country for this year.

Purisima said that improvement reflects the Aquino administration’s gains in its first year in office, especially in the macroeconomic environment side.

“This upgrade in our competitiveness ranking is proof that the Philippines is indeed open for business under new management and another evidence of the positive changes happening in the Philippines,” Purisima said.

The report noted that the Philippines’ ranking improved significantly in the macroeconomic environment indicator to 54 this year from 68 in the 2010-2011 report.

The indicator noted of the country’s improving national savings, managed inflation, low interest rate environment, lowering debt-to-GDP ratio and the four upward revisions in credit rating posted in less than a year.

“This is just another affirmation from world business leaders of the reforms we have initiated toward fiscal consolidation and macroeconomic stability,” Purisima said.

He added that confidence in the new administration was also reflected in how the country performed in sub-indicators.

The report revealed that public trust to politicians rose to 128 from 134 last year, while transparency in policy making to 120 from 123, also intellectual property protection to 102 from 103 and judicial independence to 102 from 111.

The report also cited that the country becomes ‘open for business under new management’ as competitive trade tariffs to 47 from 52 and improvement on the number of days to start a business to 112 from 120.

In terms of infrastructure, the report counted the improvement in the quality of roads to 100 from 114 and port infrastructure to 123 from 131.
“Much however is needed to be done to further boost our infrastructure rating and the Aquino administration remains committed and optimistic about its initiatives to further upgrade infrastructure in the country, both through government spending and through public-private partnerships,” Purisima said.

original source: The Manila Bulletin