• Manila makes headway in world competitiveness

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    THE Philippines moved up five places in the latest World Competitiveness Report of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) said on Thursday.

    Guillermo Luz, who is the NCC’s Private Sector co-chairman, said the Philippines climbed from No. 43 in 2012 to No. 38 in 2013 in the review of 60 economies.

    The IMD looked at four major factors—economic efficiency, government efficiency, business efficiency, and infrastructure.

    “Our goal is to move from the bottom third of world rankings to the top third by 2016. The 2013 report now places the Philippines in the middle third of the list and out of the bottom third position in prior years,” Luz said.

    The United States regained the top spot thanks to a rebound of its financial sector, abundant technological innovation and successful companies, while Venezuela was at the bottom of the list.

    Last year’s frontrunner, Hong Kong, fell to third place in the 2013 ranking, while Switzerland moved up to second from third.

    China climbed to 21st from 23rd, and Russia to 42nd from 48th.

    But India slipped from 35th to 40th, Brazil from 46th to 51st, and South Africa from 50th to 53rd.

    “We base our study on 333 criteria, two-thirds of them statistics and the remaining third opinion polls,” Stephane Garelli, head of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said.

    The Philippines is ranked 11th in Asia Pacific, up from 13th in 2011 and 2012, after overtaking Indonesia and India; and 4th out of five ASEAN economies reviewed in the report, but registered the largest gain over the last year.

    The country improved its ranking in three out of the four factors – economic performance (from 42nd to 31st), government efficiency (from 32nd to 31st), and business efficiency (from 26th to 19th).

    Luz attributed the double-digit improvement in economic performance to big gains in real Gross Domestic Products (GDP) growth (2nd, up 23), growth in exports of goods (6th, up 53), and international trade (30th, up 25).

    He said for government efficiency, gains in fiscal policy (9th, up two) and institutional framework (33rd, up three) were offset by drops in public finance (38th, down six) and business legislation (51st, down two).

    “While reform measures seem to have begun to take effect, they must be implemented with increasing urgency and scope,” he added.

    Malacañang welcomed the report, saying it would lure more investors to the country.

    “It’s very good. For one, the agencies and the departments that are involved in the economic cluster have been undertaking discussions on how to improve our ranking, and we hope that this continues to go up, “ Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said.

    “We’ve been seeing good numbers. Of course, the investment grade is nothing to laugh at.

    When you take all these factors together, it gives you the picture and it is very encouraging also when foreign investors see that to come and give our country another shot,” she added.

    With AFP

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