PH excels in 7 out of 8 competitiveness indices

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The National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines (NCCP) said on Friday that the Philippines went up in seven out of eight competitiveness indices for 2013, according to its Global Competitiveness Performance of the Country report.

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Guillermo Luz, NCCP co-chairman of the private sector, said in his 2013 year-end message that the Philippines climbed on world competitiveness rankings within the year, and is expecting to rise to the top by 2016.

“In 2011, our goal was to move from the bottom-third of global rankings to the top-third by 2016. I am pleased to inform you that a great deal of progress has been made in that regard and that we have now made it into the middle-third of global tables and, in some cases, moved above the median,” Luz said.

The seven competitiveness achievements in 2013 include World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (up by six places compared to 2012); World Bank and International Finance Corp’s Ease of Doing Business Report (up by 30 places); IMD World Competitiveness Report (up by 5 places); Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (up by 11 places); Economic Freedom Index (up by 10 places); WEF Travel and Tourism Report (up by 12 places); and Global Innovation Index (up by 5 places).

Only the WEF Global IT Report, among the eight indices, reported no change for the country from 2012 to 2013.

“These gains have been significant—overtaking 30 countries in one year in the IFC Report [largest jump worldwide], overtaking 26 countries in the WEF report, and overtaking 40 countries in the Transparency International. Much of these gains were the result of some new programs planned and installed over the last 12 to 18 months,” Luz said.

IFC is the International Finance Corp., while WEF is the World Economic Forum.

According to the NCCP co-chair, projects implemented starting 2013 to increase competitiveness include the inter-agencies and private organizations’ revival, and continuation of the Annual Enterprise Survey on Corruption, the administration’s Task Force on Ease of Doing Business and NCCP’s City/Municipality Competitiveness Index alongside with their Regional Competitiveness Index, to “measure economic dynamism, infrastructure, cost of doing business, and ease of doing business in local government units.”

“In 2014, we plan to expand that list to 550 cities and municipalities so businessmen will have basis for making decisions on where to locate their businesses,” Luz said, citing their partnership with Microsoft and the World Wildlife Fund to expand regional activities for better “city management and disaster preparedness, and response and climate change risk assessments.”

Aside from the new projects, the NCCP said that it will continue existing competitiveness projects such as the Working Groups, Dialogues, Customer Satisfaction Surveys, Performance Governance System, and Field Monitoring on Business Permits and Licensing Systems.

“We have added a new Working Group this year—Agribusinesses and Trade Logistics—and will open up a new Working Group on Manufacturing in 2014,” Luz added.

Other important projects by the council were the preparations of the 2015 APEC Summit in the Philippines, as well as coordinating with the private sector and government for the “Rebuilding After Yolanda” project.

Luz said that the NCCP will work closely with the private sector led Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation to help in the restoration and disaster preparedness from the destruction brought by Typhoon Yolanda [Haiyan] that hit areas in Visayas on November 8.

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