MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippines is among countries that showed the most improvement in the 2012 edition of the Global Competitiveness Index.
Released by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, September 5, the index showed the Philippines jumped 10 notches to rank 65th among 144 countries this 2012.
This is the second consecutive year the Philippines climbed 10 places in the global index, a record improvement since the country entered the World Economic Forum in 1994.
“The Philippines has advanced 22 places since reaching its lowest mark in 2009,” the WEF said in its report, which provides insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.
Higher trust in politicians, better economy
WEF said that the Philippines made “important strides in improving competitiveness” this 2012, considering the country came from a “very low base,” especially with respect to its public institutions and trust in politicians.
The WEF noted that the Philippines’ ranking improved 23 notches to 94th in institutions with a score of 3.6. The WEF said “the perception of corruption and red tape finally being addressed decisively, even (if) they remain pervasive.”
It also highlighted that the economic picture has exhibited marked improvement and “represents one of the strongest aspects of the Philippines’ performance.”
The macroeconomic environment also exhibits marked improvement to 36th place, up 18 notches and WEF said represented one of the strongest aspects of the country’s performance, along with the market size pillar where the country ranked 35th globally.
The report added that the financial sector has also become more efficient and increasingly supportive of business activity. The country’s ranking in this pillar improved 13 notches to 58th place.
Despite the positive trends, the WEF said many weaknesses remain to be addressed. It noted that infrastructure remains in dire state, notably in inter-island transportation via sea or air where there were “little or no progress achieved to date.”
“The country’s infrastructure is still in a dire state, particularly with respect to sea–120th–and air transport–112th–with little or no progress achieved to date. Furthermore, various market inefficiencies and rigidities continue, most notably in the labor market–103rd,” the WEF said.
See more Philippine details in the tables and graphic below. They are screenshots from the WEF report.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said the country’s performance in this year’s WEF Competitiveness Rankings is a testament to the gains of the Aquino administration’s good governance reforms.
Purisima said recognitions like these help the government ‘make difficult decisions’ to maintain the country’s fiscal position, macroeconomic stability, improvement of the investment climate, and ease of doing business.
“These upgrades coming from the World Economic Forum, major credit rating agencies and various third-party institutions recognize and affirm our belief that good governance is good economics,” Purisima said.
Makati Business Club (MBC) Chairman Ramon R. Del Rosario Jr. said the Philippines is one of only 15 economies who saw a double-digit increase in its rankings worldwide.
This places the Philippines in the upper 45 percentile of economies assessed by the WEF in 2012.
The only pillar where the Philippines did not see an improvement in ranking was health and primary education. Del Rosario noted that the Philippines did not see any improvement in the rankings of the 10 indicators under this pillar.
“None of the 10 indicators falling under health and primary education posted an improvement in ranking. Some of them are part of our commitments under the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. The Philippine ranking in HIV prevalence, in particular, notably dropped from no. 1 to no. 12,” Del Rosario said.
Philippines vis-a-vis ASEAN
This year, the Philippines bested Vietnam and Cambodia in the GCI. Vietnam switched places with the country and ranked 75th overall while Cambodia, ranked the lowest among ASEAN countries, was at 85th place.
ASEAN countries like Singapore ranked 2nd overall; Malaysia, 25th; Brunei Darrusalam, 28th; Thailand, 38th; and Indonesia, 50th.
Only the Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia improved their rankings while Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, saw their ranking worsen. Singapore and Brunei maintained their rankings from last year.
Switzerland, for the fourth consecutive year, topped the overall rankings followed by Singapore ranked 2nd and Finland in third position, overtaking Sweden in 4th place.
Other Northern and Western European countries dominated the top 10 with the Netherlands in 5th place overall; Germany, 6th; and United Kingdom, 8th. Countries that also made the top 10 were the United States which was ranked 7th overall; Hong Kong, 9th; and Japan, 10th.
“Persisting divides in competitiveness across regions and within regions, particularly in Europe, are at the origin of the turbulence we are experiencing today, and this is jeopardizing our future prosperity,” WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said.
“We urge governments to act decisively by adopting long-term measures to enhance competitiveness and return the world to a sustainable growth path,” he said. – Rappler.com