Philippines digital competitiveness ranking drops further

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has become less competitive in the use of digital technologies, slipping further near the bottom in the 2020 global digital competitiveness ranking.

The country fell two notches to 57th place out of 63 nations in the 2020 IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking, which measures the capacity and readiness of nations to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and society.

From 12th among the 14 Asia-Pacific economies covered by the report last year, the Philippines is now at the 13th spot, second to the last behind Mongolia.

Countries that are ranked higher means they are more competitive in their use of digital technologies.

“The Philippines slightly falls from 55th to 57th. The decline reflects the weakening of the talent and training and education sub-factors,” the report said.

“The deterioration of these subfactors is mainly driven by decreases in the availability of internationally experienced senior managers, attracting foreign highly skilled personnel and employee training,” it said.

The digital competitiveness of a country is measured based on three main factors. These are knowledge or the know-how necessary to discover, understand, and build new technologies; technology or the overall context that enables the development of digital technologies and future readiness or the level of country preparedness to exploit digital transformation,

Of these factors, the Philippines saw its ranking slightly improve in  technology, but posted a significant decline in knowledge. Its ranking for future readiness stayed the same as last year.

The country was ranked second globally in terms of high-tech exports, a sub-factor under technology, and fifth in female researchers, a sub-factor under knowledge.

Meanwhile, it placed 62nd on both starting a business and communications technology, and 61st on enforcing contracts and internet bandwidth speed, all of which are sub-factors under technology.

Overall, the US topped the UMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking for the third consecutive year, while Singapore maintained its second position from last year.

Rounding up the top 10 this year are Denmark, Sweden, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Netherlands, Korea, Norway, Finland.

Meanwhile, the bottom 10 are Mexico, Peru, Indonesia, Philippines, Ukraine, Argentina, South Africa, Colombia, Mongolia and Venezuela.

“The post-COVID world will be characterized by a K-shaped recovery, with two types of economies: those that will recover quickly and those that will recover more slowly. Recovery is driven by many factors, such as the health of public finances. But also, fundamentally, by the digital competitiveness of those economies,” IMD World Competitiveness Center director Arturo Bris said.


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