PH drops 10 spots in 2018 World Digital Competitiveness Ranking

Gelo Gonzales

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PH drops 10 spots in 2018 World Digital Competitiveness Ranking
Out of 63 countries, the Philippines finishes 56th, down from 2017's 46th spot

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines dropped significantly in the 2018 World Digital Competitiveness Rankings of the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD), finishing 56th out of 63 countries, dropping 10 places from 2017’s 46th spot. 

In the Asia-Pacific, the Philippines remains one of the worst-ranked, finishing 12th among 14, dropping one place from last year’s 11th place standing.


The Philippines’ 10-place drop in 2018 is the biggest drop in the past 6 years. In 2013, the country finished 39th, dropped 4 spots to 43 in 2014, dropped another 2 spots to 45 in 2015, dropped a spot to 46 in 2016, and retained the 46th spot in 2017, before its freefall to 56th this year. 

The drop in the digital rankings mirror the drop in the 2018 World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) Rankings, also published by the IMD. The Philippines dropped 9 places from 2017’s 41st to the 50th in the latest rankings, the biggest year-on-year decline over the last decade. 

How the Philippines competes

The World Digital Competitiveness Ranking ranks countries according to 3 factors: knowledge, technology, and future readiness.

The knowledge factor is measured by the “know-how necessary to build and adapt new technologies;” the technology factor takes into account the “overall country setting that enables digital technologies to develop;” and the future-readiness factor “measures the level of preparedness of the country to exploit and adapt to digital transformation,” as defined by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) – Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness, the Philippine partner of the rankings’ governing body.

AIM also said that these 3 factors were also divided into sub-factors. “The knowledge factor was composed of talent, training and education, and scientific concentration sub-factors; technology was divided into regulatory framework, capital, and technological framework; while the future-readiness factor was made up of adaptive attitudes, business agility, and IT integration,” the institution explained. Rankings were based on a combination of national statistics and surveys with leaders and executives. 

The Philippines ranked 50th for the knowledge factor, up by 3 spots over last year’s finish at the 53rd spot. However, the country experienced massive drops in the two other factors: 58th for the technology factor, dropping 7 places from last year’s 51st-place finish, and 52nd for future-readiness, dropping 9 places from last year’s 43rd-place finish.

Sub-factors such as low total expenditure on research and development, high pupil-to-teacher ratio, and unfriendly framework for starting businesses and enforcing contracts. Slow internet remains a big reason for the low rankings as well: out of 63 countries, the Philippines ranked 62nd in communications technology and 61st in internet bandwidth speed. 

Topping the rankings are the US, followed by Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland. At the bottom of the rankings are Colombia (59th), Peru (60th), Mongolia (61st), Indonesia (62nd), and Venezuela (63rd).

You can view the complete 2018 World Digital Competitiveness Ranking through the IMD World Competitiveness Center website. The 2017 rankings, meanwhile, are here.

The AIM Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness can be contacted at or through (02) 892-4011 local 5105. –

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.