Competitiveness sought to keep local workforce

The chairman and chief executive officer of Ayala Corp., Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, said on Monday that the Philippines has to compete like companies for its people.
“Just as our companies compete in the marketplace for customers, market share, capital and investors, and value creation, nations compete for investments, trade in goods, trade in services and tourists. In our case, the Philippines even has to compete for its own people! Every year, hundreds of thousands of our own workforce vote with their feet and leave the country in search of jobs and careers abroad in countries vying for their services,” Ayala, also a National Competitiveness Council member, said in a statement.

He said that competitiveness has been generally defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country, taking into account its level of development. In other words, these rankings paint a picture of a country’s ability to attract investments, raise per capita gross domestic product (GDP), create jobs and wealth for itself, and ultimately raise the

standard of living for its own people.

“Country competitiveness has become a central theme for both developed and developing nations.

We are in the midst of an increasingly open and integrated world economy where countries compete for investment and human capital that are critical to their economic growth. This focus on national competitiveness has been increasingly reinforced by global competitiveness rankings published, on a regular basis, by a variety of institutions. They measure and track nations across various metrics and indicators, including the strength of their public and private institutions, the quality of their infrastructure, their macroeconomic environment, education, health, market efficiency, financial market development, and their state of bureaucracy and transaction costs and flows, among others,” Ayala added.

While one may choose to ignore these rankings, one does so at one’s own peril. Virtually the entire world is now covered by these reports.

“For instance, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index—one of the most important we track—covers 142 economies, representing 99 percent of world GDP. Another important report we track, the International Finance Corporation’s Doing Business Report, covers 184 economies. And Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index covers 183 countries,” he said.

Ayala added that these global rankings are important for two reasons: they are a set of diagnostic tools which highlight the strengths we can build on, as well as the challenges that must be overcome in order to become more globally competitive; and investors (and the media) pay close attention to the indicators and use the information to assess country standings across a variety of metrics.

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