PH seen going up ’12 competitiveness ranks

International financial services firm Nomura expects the Philippines to improve its ranking on the World Competitiveness Survey next year due to ongoing reforms.

Nomura said the Philippines’ two-notch fall in the 2011 World Competitiveness Survey, which was released last week, could be reversed next year.

The Philippines’ latest competitiveness ranking is 43rd, a drop from the previous spot of 41st, according to IMD, an international education and research institution that conducts the annual global competitiveness survey.

Competitiveness of countries is based on four areas: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.

The drop in the Philippines’ ranking was blamed largely on the slowdown of its economy, which grew by only 3.9 percent last year from the previous year’s 7.3 percent.

The deceleration was blamed partly on reduced export earnings and anemic public spending.

Nomura said, however, that factors that had the most dampening effects on the country’s competitiveness in 2011 are already being addressed.

“The Philippines has fallen two spots to 43rd due to weak ranking in the economic-performance criterion, which we think is related to last year’s underspending by the government. But this is now being reversed, so there should be improvement in future rankings,” Nomura, a Japan-based international financial services firm, said in a report.

Nomura’s statement came following the release of a government report saying the Philippine economy, measured in terms of gross domestic product, grew by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The growth rate beat most forecasts and was the second-fastest in Asia, next to China’s 8.1 percent.

The government’s economic managers said the Philippine economy’s first-quarter performance makes the full-year growth target of 5 to 6 percent attainable.

Growth in the first three months was attributed to higher public spending, recovery of the export sector, increased investments by the private sector and robust domestic demand.

The last factor was credited partly to the sustained rise in remittances sent by the over 10 million Filipinos working overseas.

Hong Kong was again named the most competitive country.

Other neighboring countries that beat the Philippines in the latest rankings were: Singapore (4th), Taiwan (6th), Malaysia (14th), South Korea (22nd), China (23rd), Japan (27th), Thailand (30th) and Indonesia (42nd).


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