Philippine competitiveness drops in WEF survey

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines ended nearly a decade of gains in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index, slipping 10 notches in this year’s report that ranks the most competitive economies.

The country ranked 57th among 138 economies this year, a drop from its 47th position among 140 economies last year, the WEF Global Competitiveness Index 2016-2017 report showed.

WEF said the Philippines’ 10-point decline in this year’s rankings marks the first time in the 10 years under its current methodology the country has gone down in the standings.

“The country appears to be going backwards vis-a-vis its peers in some of the more complex areas of competitiveness,” the WEF said.

The Philippines’ technological readiness ranking fell 15 places to 83rd, while business sophistication dropped 10 spots to 52nd.

Its innovation standing also slipped 14 notches to 62nd and goods market efficiency ranking went down 19 places to 99th.

“Entrepreneurs will note that Philippines is the second lowest ranking country in the world when it comes to number of procedures to start a business,” the WEF added.

Meanwhile, minor improvements have been made in the country’s basic requirements sub-index, where it moved up one spot to 65th.

The basic requirements sub-index includes institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, and health and primary education.

The country’s macroeconomic environment improved four places to the 20th spot worldwide, while health and primary education inched up five spots to 81st.

In the Executive Opinion Survey which was part of the report, business leaders cited inefficient government bureaucracy, inadequate supply of infrastructure, corruption, tax rates, and tax regulations as the top five most problematic factors for doing business in the Philippines.

Overall, Switzerland ranked as the most competitive economy in the world for the eighth consecutive year.

Singapore came at second, followed by the US, Netherlands and Germany.

Among East and Asia Pacific economies, Singapore posted the highest standing followed by Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei.

“The competitiveness gap in East Asia and Pacific is widening. Although 13 of the 15 economies covered consecutively since 2007 have been able to improve their GCI score over the past decade, this year sees reversals for some of the larger emerging markets in the region,” the WEF said.

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