The Philippines (PH) has been raised 10 places in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) 2011 Global Competitiveness Report, the highest since its entry in 1994.
The unprecedented recovery in the country's overall competitiveness ranking is attributed to the improvements in the categories of institutions (up 8 places), macroeconomic environment (up 14 places), higher education and training (up 2 places), goods market efficiency (up 9 places), financial market development (up 4 places), technological readiness (up 12 places), market size (up 1 place), business sophistication (up 3 places), and innovation (up 3 places).
According to the WEF, the PH posts one of the largest improvements in this year's rankings. The vast majority of individual indicators that compose the GCI (Global Competitiveness Index) improved, sometimes markedly.
It further said, "The macroeconomic situation of the PH is more positive: the country is up 14 places to 54th in the macroeconomic environment pillar, thanks to slightly lower public deficit and debt, an improved country credit rating, and inflation that remains under control" and the country "ranks a good 57th in the business sophistication category, thanks to a large quantity of local suppliers, the existence of numerous and well-developed clusters, and an increased presence of Filipino businesses in the higher segments of the value chain."
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima welcomed the significant improvement in the Philippines' competitiveness ranking, which he said was the country's biggest jump ever in the report. "This upgrade in our competitiveness ranking is proof that the PH is indeed open for business under new management and another evidence of the positive changes happening in the PH under the Aquino administration," he said in a statement.
Despite the improvement, the country continues to face challenges in public institutions in the management of public funds, counter-corruption, legal framework, and transparency in government decisions. The PH still ranks low in physical security (117th) and infrastructure (113th). Also, the country ranks only 110th in the standard of primary education despite an enrollment rate of around 90%.
Purisima admitted that much more is to be done to boost areas that lag behind in the country. He said the Aquino administration remains committed to rolling out its public-private partnership projects to address this.
The PH is aiming to catch up with its Asean neighbors. Ramon Del Rosario, chairman of the Makati Business Club, said that it is reasonable to aspire seeing the PH be at par with Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. The ultimate goal is to be in the top 30 competitive countries, he said.