Philippine Competitiveness

Manila Bulletin, March 16, 2012 | Go to article overview

Philippine Competitiveness


MANILA, Philippines - For several decades now, the country had been struggling to rise from a negative image in several critical economic aspects, one of which is competitiveness. The good news is that last year, it climbed 10 notches to become No. 75 in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness report. Its ability to streamline its business registration processes explains the rise.

According to the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), from what initially took several days, the waiting time for registration of business permits is now shortened to only 30 minutes. The agencies that have managed to comply with this standard include the Department of Trade and Industry, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Social Security System, the Home Development Mutual Fund, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and the Securities Exchange Commission. Besides the registration process, the newly established Philippine Business Registry system has also been able to curb corruption and eliminate red tape. There has been discernible improvement in the national savings rate, low interest rate, a lower debt-to-GDP ratio, and our ability to manage inflation. Furthermore, the country received four credit ratings upgrade in just a year of the "matuwid na daan" administration

A survey done recently by the Japan External Trade Organization further reinforces this newly gained ranking - how the country had emerged as the most competitive among seven Asian economies (China, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Myanmar), in most categories as an investment destination and doing business whether in manufacturing or revenues sector. Among the regional economies, the country has moved seven rungs higher - to a ranking of 33rd from 40th place the year before.

But much still has to be done in the area of educational competitiveness which we know is the key to the sustainability of the gains we have made in the economic realm. In the 2011 survey made by The Economist, the top five were: Shanghai China (1), South Korea (2), Finland (3), Hong Kong (4), and Singapore (5). …

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