PH climbs 10 rungs in global competitiveness

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The Philippines has advanced 22 places since reaching its lowest mark in 2009, the report said, noting that the country has made important strides this year in improving competitiveness — albeit often from a very low base — especially with respect to its public institutions (94th, up 23 places). Trust in politicians has made considerable progress (95th, up 33), although significant room for improvement remains, the report said. ?The perception is that corruption (108th, up 11) and red tape (108, up 18) are finally being addressed decisively, even though they remain pervasive,? it noted. The macroeconomic environment also exhibited marked improvement (36th, up 18) and represents one of the strongest aspects of the country’s performance, along with the market size pillar (35th). In addition, the financial sector has become more efficient and increasingly supportive of business activity (58th, up 13). Despite these very positive trends, the report said many weaknesses remain to be addressed. ?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 report indicated. The rankings, released on Wednesday by the World Economic Forum, was topped by Switzerland. Singapore remained in second position and Finland in third position, overtaking Sweden (4th). Other Northern and Western European countries dominated the top 10 with the Netherlands (5th), Germany (6th) and United Kingdom (8th). The United States (7th), Hong Kong (9th) and Japan (10th) completed the ranking of the top 10 most competitive economies. The large emerging market economies (BRICS) displayed different performances. Despite a slight decline in the rankings of three places, the People?s Republic of China (29th) continues to lead the group. Of the others, only Brazil (48th) moves up this year, with South Africa (52nd), India (59th) and Russia (67th) experiencing small declines in rankings. Despite growing its overall competitiveness score, the United States continued its decline for the fourth year in a row, falling two more places to seventh position. In addition to the burgeoning macroeconomic vulnerabilities, some aspects of the country?s institutional environment continue to raise concern among business leaders, particularly the low public trust in politicians and a perceived lack of government efficiency. On a more positive note, the country still remained a global innovation powerhouse and its markets work efficiently. The report indicated that Switzerland and countries in Northern Europe have been consolidating their strong competitiveness positions since the financial and economic downturn in 2008. On the other hand, countries in Southern Europe, i.e. Portugal (49th), Spain (36th), Italy (42nd) and particularly Greece (96th) continued to suffer from competitiveness weaknesses in terms of macroeconomic imbalances, poor access to financing, rigid labor markets, and an innovation deficit. Behind Singapore, several Asian economies are performing strongly, with Hong Kong SAR (9th), Japan (10th), Taiwan, China (13th) and the Republic of Korea (19th) all in the top 20. In the Middle East and North Africa, Qatar (11th) led the region while Saudi Arabia remains among the top 20 (18th). The United Arab Emirates (24th) improved its performance while Kuwait (37th) slightly declines. Morocco (70th) and Jordan (63rd) improve slightly. In sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa (52nd) and Mauritius (54th) featured in the top half of the rankings. However, most countries in the region continue to require efforts across the board to improve their competitiveness. In Latin America, Chile (33rd) retains the lead and a number of countries see their competitiveness improve, such as Panama (40th), Brazil (48th), Mexico (53rd) and Peru (61st). ?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.? said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of World Economic Forum. ?We urge governments to act decisively by adopting long-term measures to enhance competitiveness and return the world to a sustainable growth path.? ]]>

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