Philippines drops by 9 notches in world competitiveness ranking
The Philippines fell by nine notches to 50th place among 63 economies in the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking 2018.
The Switzerland-based research group noted that the Philippines has experienced the "most significant decline" in Asia.
"The reasons for such a drop include a decline in tourism and employment, the worsening of public finances and a surge in concerns about the education system," the report said.
It said that countries in Asia, which recorded declines in their rankings, with the exception of Taiwan, "all show signs of a need to improve their tangible and scientific infrastructure."
Aside from the Philippines and Taiwan, the other countries in the region which plunged a "few places" on their rankings were Thailand (from 27th place to 30th) and Indonesia (from 42nd to 43rd).
The rankings of other Southeast Asian countries were the following: Singapore stayed at 3rd place; and Malaysia (from 24th place to 22nd).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Duterte administration is already addressing the issues in order to improve the country's competitiveness.
He noted IMD's report regarding the challenges that the Philippines faces, such as investing in quality infrastructure; increasing investment in human capital (health and education); strengthening institutions; increasing digital competitiveness; and mitigating political risks.
"The government has started to roll out big-ticket Build-Build-Build infrastructure projects, including the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure project, made our education up to par with the global standards by continuing the K-12 Program, and provided free medicine to the poor," he said in a statement.
Roque also cited that the government ordered the selection of a third telecommunications player to push for better internet services and lower prices for Filipino consumers.
"The President has prioritized the shift to federalism to spur regional development and lessen political risk given that local governments will now have power over their own resources and create policies that will cater to their constituents’ needs," he added.
Meanwhile, Japan slightly improved from 26th to 25th place.
The United States has overtaken Hong Kong at first place among world's most competitive economies, while Venezuela has remained at the bottom.
The IMD World Competitiveness Center, a research group at IMD business school in Switzerland, said it uses 258 indicators in its annual rankings.
"Hard' data such as national employment and trade statistics are weighted twice as much as the 'soft" data from an Executive Opinion Survey that measures the business perception of issues such as corruption, environmental concerns and quality of life, it said. Celerina Monte/DMS