The National Competitiveness Council is pleased to report that for the fifth year in a row, the Philippines has moved up the list of competitive economies. The Philippines has advanced 5 more notches to No. 47 in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016, from No. 52 last year. The country has now gained a total of 38 places from No. 85 in 2010. This latest report has brought us to our goal of moving to the top-third of world rankings.
The Global Competitiveness Report is an annual publication that provides a comprehensive picture of the productivity and competitiveness by gathering statistical and survey data on over 114 indicators grouped into 12 pillars in 140 countries. The report series remains the most widely-read comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide.
This year, we moved up in 10 of the 12 pillars of the index. Our strongest performing areas were Labor Market Efficiency (up 9 from 91st to 82nd); Health and Primary Education (up 6 from 92nd to 86th); Market Size (up 5, from 35th to 30th); Business Sophistication (up 4 from 46th to 42nd); Innovation (up 4, from 52nd to 48th); and Macroeconomic Environment (up 2, from 26th to 24th). We also recorded improvements in Technological Readiness, Financial Market Development, Infrastructure, and Higher Education and Training. On the other hand, Institutions, one of the key drivers last year (79th to 67th), dropped ten spots from (67thto 77th). The country also dropped by ten spots in Goods Market Efficiency (70th to 80th).
Over the last five years, our greatest gains have been in the areas of Innovation (up 63 from 111th to 58th), Institutions (up 48 from 125th to 77th), and Macroeconomic Environment (up 44 from 68th to 24th). We have likewise improved in research and development (up 49 from 85 to 36), government procurement of advanced tech products (up 70 from 129 to 59), government budget balance (up 49 from 63 to 14), government debt (up 48 from 102 to 54), and gross national savings (up 26 from 74 to 48) which contributed to a more stable macroeconomic environment.
While the report acknowledged improvements in efficiency and flexibility of the labor market, it also recognized factors that need to be attended to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth. The five most problematic factors for doing business in the Philippines were inefficient government bureaucracy, inadequate supply of infrastructure, corruption, complexity of tax regulations, and tax rates. Our lowest-ranked indicators include the number of procedures to start a business (139th), number of days to start a business (119th), redundancy costs (124th) and imports as a percentage of GDP (119th).
The Philippines remains 5th out of nine in the ASEAN. The Philippines is the third biggest gainer for this year after Vietnam and Lao PDR. The country has been the most improved economy in terms of competitiveness rankings in ASEAN and across the world over the period dating back to 2010.