The Philippines has moved up in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for the third year in a row. It has moved up six places from No. 65 last year to No. 59 this year.

Moving up 26 notches in the last three years and closer to the country’s goal of global rankings’ top-third by 2016, the Philippines now belongs into the top 40% of the world. Moreover, of seven global indices on competitiveness released in the last 10 months, the Philippines has risen in all seven reports. These include the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Economic Freedom Index, the Global Innovation Index, and the WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, among others.

The key drivers behind the competitiveness improvement was in the areas of Innovation (up 25 from No. 94 to No. 69), Institutions (or Governance, up 15 from No. 94 to No. 79), and Financial Market Development (up 10 from No 58 to No 48). Modest gains were also seen in Goods Market Efficiency (up 4), Labor Market Efficiency (up 3), Infrastructure (up 2), Health and Primary Education (up 2), Technological Readiness (up 2) and Market Size (up 2). The Philippines gained in nine of the 12 major categories of competitiveness. It is worth noting that in the category of Institutions (the key measure for Governance), large improvements were seen in terms of less wastefulness in spending public funds (up 23) and less diversion of public funds due to corruption (up 21).

The WEF report named the Philippines as one of “the most dynamic and rapidly improving economies in terms of competitiveness”. It is ranked 6th out of 10 in ASEAN. While the report recognized that the country still has a lot of ground to cover since it started from a low base, it also stated that “the recent successes of the government in tackling some of the most pressing structural issues are encouraging and proof that bold reforms and measures can yield positive results.”

Source: National Competitiveness Council