by Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) – 9 Oct 2019
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines slipped eight places to rank 64th out of 141 countries in the latest Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF) from 56th place last year amid lower rankings in the information and communication technology (ICT) adoption and macroeconomic stability pillars.
The WEF report released by local partner institute Makati Business Club (MBC) yesterday showed the Philippines’ overall ranking declined as the country’s score dropped to 61.9 this year from 62.1 last year.
Within Southeast Asia, the Philippines’ ranking slid to sixth out of nine countries, down a notch from fifth spot last year.
Southeast Asian countries which ranked better than the Philippines are Singapore which topped the overall index, Malaysia (27th), Thailand (40th), Indonesia (50th) and Brunei Darussalam (56th).
The Philippines, however, was ahead of Vietnam (67th), Cambodia (106th) and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (113th).
The WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index measures national competitiveness by ranking economies based on 12 pillars such as: institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labor market, financial system, market size, business dynamism, and innovation capability.
The latest report showed the Philippines registered the biggest drop in both rank and score on the ICT adoption pillar to 88th place from 67th last year. Its score dropped to 49.7 from 54.8 previously.
In terms of macroeconomic stability pillar, the Philippines also saw its ranking decline to 55th place from 43rd last year, even as it maintained its score of 90 due to the country’s inflation rate.
The country’s least competitive pillar was health where it placed 102nd as the report took note of the decrease in the healthy life expectancy to 65.6 years from 67.6 years in the 2018report.
Meanwhile, the Philippines’ highest increase in rank and score was on institutions as it placed 87th this year from 101 last year with an improved score of 50.
Strong pillars for the Philippines are market size (31st), labor market (39th), financial system (43rd), business dynamism (44th), and product market (52nd).
“One of the key messages of this report is the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in pursuing sustained economic growth. The world needs to do a lot of catching up to reach the SDG targets by 2030, and the Philippines is no exemption. The business community needs to be more responsible and innovative in its operations to help improve the country’s social and economic goals,” MBC chairman Ed Chua said.
Overall, Singapore topped the Global Competitiveness Report this year, an improvement from second place last year.
The US placed second, followed by Hong Kong on third spot.
Meanwhile, Chad remained the bottom dweller as it got the 141st place.