Philippines ranks 59th in global competitiveness: report

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The Philippines continues to move up the line of world's most competitive economies, landing at 59th place among 148 countries and regions, or six notches higher from last year's ranking, according to a local business group.

The Makati Business Club (MBC), one of the nation's most influential business groups, presented Wednesday the result of the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 which listed the Philippines as one of the countries with increased levels of productivity and competitiveness.

"The substantial advance of the country in the World Economic Forum's competitiveness rankings over the past three years should be sustained further to get to the top third ranking of the most competitive economies in the world by 2016," MBC Chairman Ramon R. Del Rosario, Jr. said.

The Global Competitiveness Report is an annual publication that measures productivity and competitiveness by gathering statistical and survey data on over 100 factors grouped into 12 pillars.

The Philippine government on Wednesday welcomed the country's improvement in the global competitiveness landscape, saying it was an affirmation on the reforms being implemented by President Benigno Aquino III.

"Amidst the backdrop of a particularly difficult period for developing economies, this international affirmation serves as an endorsement of the president, the brand of transparent and accountable leadership he espouses, and the hard-fought reforms he and his allies have tirelessly pursued," said Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in a statement.

He cited that from a low of 85th place when the Aquino administration took over, the Philippines has progressed 26 places to rank 59th.

He attributed the improvement on the Philippine ranking on the "institution" pillar that covers governance challenges such as corruption and public sector competence.

Halfway through the Aquino presidency, the institutions pillar of the Philippines jumped from 125th in 2010 to 79th, a rally of 46 places, Lacierda said.

In the ethics and corruption category, the Philippines now ranks 87th compared to 135th in 2010, while government efficiency and other public sector variables have also steadily advanced, he added.

Another pillar where the Philippines posted heady growth was in innovation, from 111th in 2010 to 69th this year, the official said.

The Global Competitiveness Report said the Philippines increased its level of competitiveness in 9 out of 12 pillars of which the top three were innovation, from 94th to 69th; institutions, from 94th to 79th; and financial development from 58th to 48th.

The rest were goods market efficiency, up by 4 notches to 82nd place from 86th; labor market efficiency, from 103rd to 100th; infrastructure from 98th to 96th; health and primary education from 98th to 96th; technological readiness, from 79th to 77th; and market size, from 35th to 33rd.

The report also cited major problematic factors for doing business in the country. Top five on the list are the inadequacy of infrastructure, corruption, inefficient government bureaucracy, tax regulations and restrictive labor regulations.

Switzerland ranked first in the competitiveness index followed by Singapore, Finland, Germany, United States, Sweden, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Japan and the United Kingdom. Endi

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