Cordillera LGUs called on to enhance competitiveness

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BAGUIO CITY: All local government units (LGU) in the country play a critical role in sustaining and further improving the economic competitiveness of the country in the global market.

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National Competitiveness Council (NCC) Program Officer Sarah Lope stressed this during the NCC Baguio Roadshow as she called on LGUs in the Cordillera region to continuously improve their competitiveness.

Lope shared that based on the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index, the country has achieved tremendous improvements as far economic performance is concerned. From 75th out of 142 countries in 2011, the country improved and became 65th out of 144 in 2012 and further rose to 59th out of 148 countries last year.

As the country aims to improve to a global competitiveness index ranking of 49th this year amid negotiations and planning for the creation of the Asean Economic Community in 2015, Lope underlined the need for LGUs to further boost their competitiveness especially in terms of the ease of doing business in their localities.

Lope also shared that at the national scene based on the 2013 NCC competitiveness index, Cagayan De Oro City of Northern Mindanao and San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur topped the overall competitiveness index in the city and municipal level, respectively.

For economic dynamism, Quezon City and Calasiao, Pangasinan topped the city and municipal level, respectively.

For government efficiency, Iloilo City and the municipality of Kabugao, Apayao were the top winners.

For infrastructure, Naga City and the municipality of Daet, Camarines Norte topped the list.

Economic dynamism refers to the activities that facilitate the stable expansion of businesses and spur higher employment rates while government efficiency involves the quality and reliability of government services and support for effective and sustainable productive expansion.

Infrastructure, on the other hand, refers to the physical building blocks that connect, expand and sustain a locality and its surroundings to enable the provision of goods and services.

2013 NCC Competitiveness Index gathered data from 123 cities and 167 first class municipalities.

Lope also noted that they are set to come out with a second and more comprehensive competitiveness index this year that would involve around 500 or more cities and municipalities, including 14 from the Cordillera Administrative Region.

During the NCC Baguio Roadshow, representatives from the World Wide Fund for Nature also presented a study on Business Risk Assessment and Climate Change Impact, while representatives from USAID and Batangas City Government discussed their program partnership that enabled Batangas City to streamline processes for the issuance of business permits and licenses.

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