Better competitiveness rankings seen this year

NCC co-Chairman Guillermo Luz during a roundtable with The Manila Times.

The government hopes to improve the country’s competitiveness this year to boost the economy, Guillermo Luz, the co-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) of the Philippines said during an exclusive roundtable with The Manila Times on Monday.

According to him, the Philippines’ competitiveness is improving but lags behind Singapore, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Vietnam as shown by the 2011 Global Competitive Index.

Luz said that competitiveness of a country also affects its gross domestic product (GDP) and foreign direct investments (FDI) performances.

Data showed that countries that rank high on global competitiveness also have better economic performance based on its GDP and FDI growth.

Luz explained that in order to achieve growth and competitiveness, the government should address uneven playing fields that usually drive away investors.

“The common complaint on uneven playing field is that it causes problems for business, government, public as well as corruption,” he said.

Luz admitted that the government has ranked poorly on the transparency issue.

The NCC chairman explained that by addressing transparency, the government can get more competitive bids that lead to better projects.

Better projects also lead to better infrastructure, public services and more investments for the country that creates more jobs for the people.

Moreover, he said that the Philippines is also competing for better rankings so that it can improve drivers of the economy such as trade, jobs, people, tourists, image and reputation, and branding.

Last year, the country’s standing in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report was at No. 75 out of 142 countries. In the International Finance Corp. (IFC) Doing Business Survey, the country ranked 136th out of 183 countries, 41st in the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Report out of 85 countries; and 65th in FutureBrand’s Country Brand Index out of 110 countries.

By 2016, Luz said that the government’s target is to be No. 30 or higher in the WEF Global Competitiveness Report; No. 50 or higher in IFC Doing Business Survey; No. 20 or higher in the IMD World Competitiveness Report; No. 30 or higher in FutureBrand’s Country Brand Index; and No. 2 or 3 in all rankings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

NCC mandate

The NCC’s main task is to strategize and execute steps to improve Philippine competitiveness rankings.

It also advises the President on policy matters affecting competitiveness of the country, promote and develop competitiveness strategies, and push for the implementation of an action agenda for competitiveness and link it to the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016.

Lastly, it provides inputs to the PDP, Investment Priorities Plan and Export Development Plan and recommends proposed legislation to Congress regarding the country competitiveness.

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