Philippines named best country to invest in

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 6) — The Philippines ranked first in a U.S. report's list of the "Best Countries to Invest In" for 2018.

The U.S. News and World Report said the Philippines has been performing well in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), despite declining inflows to other Southeast Asian countries.

"In years to come, the country is expected to receive more FDI from within the region from powerhouses like China that are looking to utilize available labor in developing nations," the report said.

The Philippines topped the list of 80 countries. It is followed by Indonesia, Poland, Malaysia, and Singapore.

On its website, the U.S. News said its ranking is based on scores given by "more than 6,000 business decision makers on a compilation of eight equally weighted country attributes: corruption, dynamism, economic stability, entrepreneurship, favorable tax environment, innovation, skilled labor force, and technological expertise."

The Philippines also ranked 49th on the overall list of the best countries, based on an "assessment of all that shapes a country, from quality of life to economic potential."

The U.S. News study was in partnership with global marketing communications company Y&R's brand strategy firm BAV Group, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

In a text message to reporters on Monday, Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez cited various reasons for the Philippines' ranking: "A young and hardworking workforce, an excellent inclusive growth momentum, an expanding middle class, politically stable environment, strong and popular leadership, fiscal discipline, stable monetary policy, membership in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), an achievable infrastructure program, a strong anti-corruption drive, (and) improved revenue collection."

The Philippines received $8.7 billion (P453.35 billion) worth of FDI as of November 2017, according to the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The preliminary data already exceeded the $8-billion target for 2017.