The Philippines ranked 59th in global competitiveness among 148 countries this year in the report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) released on Wednesday.
In its latest Global Competitiveness Report, the WEF said that the Philippines climbed six spots to 59 from the 65th spot in 2012. It occupied the 85th spot in 2010.
Switzerland remains the most competitive among the countries surveyed, followed by Singapore and Finland. All three countries retained their rankings from last year.
Among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the Philippines ranked 6th. Singapore leads Asean with a rank of 2 in competitiveness, followed by Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam with the ranks of 24 and 26, respectively.
With the exception of Cambodia, which dropped three spots to 88 from 85 last year, all members of the Asean gained improvements in their rankings, with Indonesia as the greatest gainer or a 12 spot-increase to 38 from 46 last year.
A country’s competitiveness and productivity is determined using over 100 factors grouped into 12 “pillars” namely: institutions, infrastructure, macro-economic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.
According to the report, the Philippines improved in nine of the 12 pillars, with the most improvements in innovation, institutions and financial market development.
Inadequate supply of infrastructure was reported the most problematic factor for doing business in the country, with corruption and inefficient government bureaucracy coming in at second and third. Corruption was the most problematic factor last year.
“This is somewhat a good thing,” said Robert de Ocampo, vice-chairman of the Makati Business Club. “In the previous years it was always corruption. This just means that the Aquino administration’s anti-corruption drive might actually be working.”
“With this increase in our global competitiveness, we are now within the top 40 percent of all countries in the world,” said Guillermo Luz, private sector co-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council. “Our next goal is to climb to the top one-third in the next two years.”