PHL rises to 59th in global competitiveness index (GMA News)

The Philippines improved its competitive standing as it landed on the 59th spot in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report released Wednesday.

This was an improvement from the country's 65th place last year.

A total of 148 countries were ranked in the WEF report.

The Philippines' standing improved as it ranked 50th and below in 33 out of 119 indicators being monitored by WEF, according to Makati Business Club chairman Ramon del Rosario, Jr. who was present at the launch of the report.

Among the 33 indicators are financing through local equity market, domestic market size index, affordability of financial services, ease of access to loans and regulation of securities exchanges.

However, the Philippines ranked 100th and above in indicators such as the number of procedures to start a business, burden of customs procedures, quality of port infrastructure as well as airports, primary education enrollment and strength of investor protection.

Brisker business activities

In an e-mail to reporters Wednesday, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said improved rankings could lead to brisker business activities.

“As we make progress in further solidifying the gains of good governance, I fully expect to see the Philippine business environment become even more vibrant, more dynamic, and most importantly, more open and welcoming of opportunity,” said Purisima. 

He noted that the Philippines' best improvements were in terms of “innovation”—up 25 places to 69th—and “institutions,” rising 15 places to 79th.

“We have made progress in driving business with the inherent talent, creativity, and ingenuity of our people,” the Finance chief said.

He said improvements were also noted in less wasteful spending as well as more efficient legal and administrative frameworks that support business.

Citing continued government efforts in addressing investment bottlenecks, Purisima said, “No doubt we will see even greater rises in the Global Competitiveness rankings in the future.

Sixth in Southeast Asia

The Philippines ranked sixth out of 10 countries in Southeast Asia behind Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand and Indonesia.

It placed ahead of Vietnam, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Cambodia and Myanmar.

The report said Switzerland retained its spot as the most competitive country. Singapore came in second, while Finland was ranked third.