Philippines ‘most adaptable’ to change (Tempo)

The Philippines was ranked 18th out of 90 countries in the 2013 Change Readiness Index (CRI) prepared by KPMG International, the Netherlands-based network of tax and audit firms, and Oxford Economics, a leader in forecasting and quantitative analysis for business and government. The index, released on September 28, 2013, measured the capacity of countries to respond to change, caused by trends such as technology, demographics, global competition and investment. It used more than 70 data variables, World Economic Forum, World Bank, Economist Intelligence Unit and World Health Organization, as well as 21 survey question responses gathered in 1st quarter 2013 from 545 experts worldwide.

Several lower middle-income countries such as Philippines and Panama outperform some higher-income countries in the rankings. A country’s wealth is not always an indicator of its ability to respond to and manage change, the CRI noted. The top 10 countries in the 2013 CRI are Singapore, Sweden, Qatar, New Zealand, Germany, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and United Kingdom. KPMG member-firm in the Philippines Manabat Sanagustin & Co. said that with the Philippines achieving strong growth and improved ranking in the CRI, it is better prepared to capitalize on change. The country ranked better than most of its neighbors in Southeast Asia, except for Singapore in top rank and Thailand at 16th. It is one of two lower middle-income countries included in the top 20, the other being Panama, and one of six Asian countries in the top 20.

Change readiness relates to capability of a country – its government, private and public enterprises, people, and civil society – to anticipate, prepare for, manage, and respond to change factors, proactively tap opportunities, and mitigate impacts. The index was structured around three pillars: Enterprise Capability, Government Capability and People and Civil Society Capability. The Philippines ranked 23rd in enterprise capability, boosted by informal sector and financial markets. In government capability, it ranked 14th, boosted by government strategic planning and horizon scanning and environment. It ranked 26th in people and civil-society capability, boosted by demographics and entrepreneurship.

While CRI is not a leading indicator of economic growth, it can help organizations determine which countries are more resilient and more capable of managing structural change, the KPMG said. The index can be a vital tool for governments, the development community, and business to make more informed decisions and manage risks.

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