International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is urging the government to “work double time” to improve the country’s transportation infrastructure for the country to be globally competitive.
“We have to work double time to improve the state of transport infrastructure for us to be globally competitive,” said Christian Gonzalez, ICTSI head for the Asian region.
“Infrastructure development has to match and complement the pace of a country’s economic progress. If not, all the strides we are taking to further the economy will be for nothing,” he added.
In the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) recently released 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Report (GCR), the Philippines’ ranking improved to 59th place overall among 148 economies.
However, the same report said that transport infrastructure in the country remains in a “dire state” with the country ranking 84th in overall transport infrastructure, 113th in airports and 116th in seaports.
According to the GCR, the Philippines made positive strides and advanced six notches in the Global Competitive Index as a result of government efforts to curb corruption and improve government efficiency.
But improvements are coming from such a low base that the country cannot afford to be complacent.
The GCR ranks the world’s nations according to the Global Competitiveness Index.
The index is based on latest theoretical and empirical research most of which are culled from WEF’s Executive Opinion Survey, and publicly available sources such as the United Nations.
Survey respondents are business leaders of the 148 countries in the index.
Improvement driven by private sector
The improvement was driven by strong private sector participation. Recently, the Asian Development Bank, citing improving gross development product of at least 7 percent in recent quarters, said that the Philippines needs to do more by tapping the private sector.
The report showed that companies like Citra Central
Expressway Corp. and Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. are ready to invest for multi-level roadway projects of the government under public-private partnerships.
Citra, in particular, will invest P26.5 billion for the development of an elevated six-lane 14.2-kilometer expressway, which will be completed in three years.
Rosalie C. Periabras