PH recovers slightly in World Competitiveness ranking

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — An overall improvement in the economy has led to a recovery in the Philippines' global competitiveness rank.

The country rose to the 46th in the 2019 World Competitiveness Ranking, a partial, four point recovery after dropping nine places to the 50th spot last year.

However, the Philippines also ranked 13th among the 14 Asia-Pacific countries in the study.

The study is conducted yearly by Switzerland-based business school International Institute for Management Development, with the Asian Institute of Management as it's partner in the Philippines.

The Philippines recovered in all main four factors used to assess it's competitiveness — economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.

"The Philippines saw an improvement in the ranking of all four factors. Economic Performance posted a twelve-notch improvement in 2019 – the largest increase among the four factors – from 50th to 38th. Government Efficiency rose from 44th to 41st; while Business Efficiency improved from 38th to 32nd," the AIM said in a statement.

Business efficiency is the Philippine's highest ranking factor, which improved due to an increase in the labor force. Like government efficiency, business efficiency is considered an opinion-based indicator.

Infrastructure continues to drag the Philippines down, ranking 59th among the 63 countries surveyed. The AIM noted that while the government has put importance on hard infrastructure, it should also invest in health, education and research.

"Infrastructure sub-factor shows how important programs such as the ‘Build Build Build’ and Public-Private Partnerships are; but other sub-factors also show that the Philippines should invest on infrastructure that promotes education, health, and research and development," the AIM said in its policy brief, adding that digital infrastructure shouldn't be ignored.

The AIM suggested that to improve its competitiveness, the Philippines should increase investments in infrastructure and human capital, prepare for automation, strengthen government institutions, and mitigate political uncertainties.

Singapore placed first in the 2019 World Competitiveness Rankings, switching places with the United States of America, which now ranks third. Hong Kong continues to have the second place.

Rounding up the top 10 most competitive countries are Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Qatar respectively.