Good governance promotes growth across sectors

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) believes that the country’s improved economic performance in the first quarter is “an early indication” that the administration’s commitment to good governance “promotes growth across sectors.”

In a statement on the latest competitiveness ranking of the Philippines, NCC co-chairman Guillermo Luz said that despite the drop in the Philippine’s competitiveness ranking in IMD’s 2012 World Competitiveness Rankings to 43 this year from 41 in 2011, the faster-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.4 percent in the first quarter indicates that the reforms implemented by the government are being felt across sectors.

“The improved economic performance is an early indication that the heightened focus on project implementation and delivery coupled with continued governance reforms is a combination which promotes growth across sectors,” he added.

The NCC is a public-private sector body dedicated to building up the long-term competitiveness of the Philippines through policy reforms, project implementation, institution-building, performance monitoring and goal-setting.

The Philippine economy grew 6.4 percent in the first three months of the year, its strongest quarterly pace in two years, boosted by accelerated government spending, sustained private sector confidence   and an export rebound.

However, the country’s overall rank in the IMD’s 2012 World Competitiveness Rankings fell to 43 this year from 41 in 2011 as it faces challenges in maximizing benefits of a positive business environment it now enjoys.

Some 59 countries were ranked in the annual study, the results of which were released by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) on Thursday. The Philippines retained its ranking of 13th in the Asia Pacific region from last year. The survey was conducted by the Institute for Management Development.

“The data (competitiveness ranking) captures last year’s performance. The good news is that adjustments have been made and are now being felt in this year’s first quarter 2012 figures. The first quarter GDP growth rate of 6.4 percent is the highest in ASEAN and second in the region to China,” said Luz.

It was noted in the survey that the Philippine economy performed below expectation last year with a GDP growth rate of only 3.7 percent, while exports dropped on account of decreases in electronics exports, the country’s largest manufactured export product.

 “These performances reflected the difficulties experienced domestically with respect to institutional adjustments in public spending and procurement processes as well as internationally with respect to a tough global business environment,” said Luz.

The NCC is presently crafting a 25-year strategic plan that will be harmonized with the existing six-year Philippine Development Plan (PDP) of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) with the aim of having the Philippines placed in the top one third in ranking in international competitiveness surveys by 2016.

The plan contains measures for the strengthening of local industries, improving infrastructure, sustaining the energy and manpower skills requirements of industries, shortening the business permits and licensing process, and building the capacity of the regions.

Luz earlier said that the Philippines has consistently been ranked in the bottom third of international competitiveness surveys such as the World Economic Forum (WEF), the International Finance Corp. (IFC) Doing Business survey, and the World Competitiveness Yearbook.

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