WEF: PH is 5th “most competitive economy” in SE Asia, 56th in the world

  • The Philippines ranked 56th in 2018 WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report
  • It lags behind its ASEAN neighbors at No. 5
  • The WEF report said PH needs improvement in business dynamism, health and institutions

    Image from What’s Up BGC

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines still lags behind its ASEAN neighbors in terms of economic competitiveness but managed to secure a spot in the upper half of the list of the world’s 140 countries covered by the 2018 Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

With an overall score of 62.1, the Philippines is in the 5th spot among Southeast Asian countries and 56th in the world behind Singapore (2nd), Malaysia (25th), Thailand (38th) and Indonesia (45th).

The score is based on 12 pillars Institutions; Infrastructure; ICT adoption; Macroeconomic stability; Health; Skills; Product market; Labor market; Financial system; Market size; Business dynamism; and Innovation capability, under which are 98 more indicators included in the index.

Image capture from WEF report

While the country fared well in Market Size (32nd), Labor Market (36th), Financial system (39th) and Macroeconomic stability (43rd), it needs significant improvement in Institutions (101st), Health (101st), and Infrastructure (92nd).

More specifically, under the sub-indicators, the Philippines scored poorly in terrorism incidence (136th), reliability of police services (123rd), conflict of interest regulation (121st), and organized crime (120th).

“The report highlights the Philippines as one of the countries – along with Nigeria, Yemen, South Africa, Pakistan – with notable problems related to violence, crime or terrorism, and where the police are considered unreliable,” the WEF noted.

Image from Official Gazette

The WEF report also highlights the country’s need to improve its business dynamism as suggested by its weak indicators: Time to start a business (ranked 115th), cost of starting a business (97th), and insolvency recovery rates (112th).

Makati Business Club (MBC) chairman Edgar Chua noted that while time and cost of starting a business remain as problematic factors for the business community, it is worthy to note that the Philippines ranks high in e-participation, or the use of online platforms to link government information to citizens.

“With the recently passed Ease of Doing Business Act, we remain optimistic that the government will be able to sustain these gains and address the concerns of efficiency in doing business,” said Chua.

It is worthy to note also that the Philippines competitiveness ranking for this year is an improvement from last year’s 68th out of 135 countries.

Image from WEF report

The United States (US) topped WEF’s 2018 Global Competitiveness Report with an overall score of 85.6; followed by Singapore (83.5); Germany (82.8); Switzerland (82.6) and Japan (82.5).

Rounding up the top 10 are Netherlands (82.4); Hong Kong SAR (82.3); United Kingdom (82.0); Sweden (81.7) and Denmark (80.6).

Languishing at the cellar are Chad (35.5); Yemen (36.4); Haiti (36.5); Angola (37.1) and Burundi (37.5).