PH leaps to 59th from 65th in global competitiveness rankings

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The Philippines dramatically improved its ranking this year by six places by placing 59th from 65th last year in the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, which was released by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Credit: World Economic Forum

The report cited the anti-corruption efforts of the current government, noting that corruption had historically been one of the country?s biggest drags on competitiveness.

?There are signs that these efforts are producing results: in the ethics and corruption category, the country has jumped from 135th in 2010 to 87th this year. A similar trend has been observed in the government efficiency category (75th) and elsewhere in the Index.

But the report said the improvements are coming from such a low base that the country cannot afford to be complacent.

?For instance, transport infrastructure has improved but remains in a dire state (84th), especially with respect to airport (113th) and seaport facilities (116th). Similarly, the labor market has become more flexible and efficient over the years, but the Philippines still ranks a low 100th.?

It noted: ?The recent successes of the government in tackling some of the most pressing structural issues are encouraging and proof that bold reforms and measures can yield positive results.?

The report?s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) placed Switzerland at the top of the ranking for the fifth year running. Singapore and Finland remain in second and third positions respectively.

Germany moved up two places (4th) and the United States reversed a four-year downward trend, climbing two places to fifth. Hong Kong SAR (7th) and Japan (9th) also closed the gap on the most competitive economies, while Sweden (6th), the Netherlands (8th) and the United Kingdom (10th) fell.

The United States continued to be a world leader in bringing innovative products and services to market. Its rise in the ranking is down to a perceived improvement in the country?s financial market as well as greater confidence in its public institutions. However, serious concerns persist over its macroeconomic stability, which ranks 117 out of 148 economies.

Among the Asian economies, Indonesia jumped to 38th, making it the most improved of the G20 economies since 2006, while Korea (25th) dropped by six places. Behind Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, and Taiwan (China) (12th), all remain in the top 20.

Developing Asian nations displayed mixed performances and trends: Malaysia placed 24th while countries such as Nepal (117th), Pakistan (133rd) and Timor-Leste (138th) were near the bottom of the ranking. Bhutan (109th), Laos(81st) and Myanmar (139th) joined the index for the first time.

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