Philippines improves ranking but trails behind neighbors in competitiveness

17:14, May 20, 2010      

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The Philippines has become more competitive this year but still remains behind its neighbors in terms of providing the basic needs to its citizens, according to latest World Competitiveness Yearbook issued Thursday. Among the 58 economies included in the study, the Philippines advanced by four notches to 39 this year in terms of competitiveness, but still lags behind some of its neighbors like Indonesia which improved its ranking by moving up as much as 7 notches to 35.

"The Philippines is a weak state that does not fulfill the function of providing (its) people and businesses with the minimum basic infrastructure, health, education and scientific infrastructure," German research firm Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Country Representative Peter Koeppinger said.

Lack of these lowers productivity and causes poverty, Koeppinger said.

The study further pointed out that the country still fared low in business efficiency, mitigating corruption and infrastructure.

The World Competitiveness Yearbook, which measures the ability of a nation to create and maintain an environment that sustains more value creation for its enterprises and more prosperity for its people, is a joint study between the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center (APC) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Among the criteria used in ranking an economy's competitiveness are economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.

Philippines'rank improved only because of its economic performance -- where the country saw developments in international trade, domestic economy and employment-- and government efficiency, APC Director Ma. Lourdes Sereno said.

In terms of government efficiency, the study showed that the Philippines improved in the areas of public finance and fiscal policy.

"Indonesia, which we used to clobber in rankings, has beaten us. Indonesia dropped to number 54 when the Philippines was number 45 three years ago. (So) even if the Philippines moved up, it was still not enough to offset Indonesia's advantage," Sereno said.

Indonesia's ranking improved because of the various reforms its leaders have instituted, better transparency, putting cronies behind bars and reduced corruption, the study showed.

In contrast, Philippines' competitiveness has been sliding since the 1990's or after ranking number 29 in 1977.

"If the new administration can deliver his promises, if he can run after corrupt people and avoid corrupt deals, our competitiveness ranking and allied macroeconomic data will go up, like Indonesia," Serrano said.

This year, Singapore topped the list followed by Hong Kong, United States, Switzerland and Australia.

Asia was judged as this year's top performing region after four of its economies made it to the list of top 10, namely Singapore, China's Hong Kong , China's Taiwan (number 8) and Malaysia (number 10).

Source: Xinhua


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