The Philippines has climbed a notch in Swiss business school International Institute for Management and Development’s (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook this year, despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country is now ranked 45th out 63 economies surveyed by the IMD, from 46th spot in 2019.
The IMD ranking measures the capacity of a country to maintain an environment where enterprises can compete locally and internationally as it assumes wealth creation happens at the enterprise.
The ranking was evaluated using country measures such as unemployment, gross domestic product, public spending on health and education, and perception-based survey from business executives performed in the first quarter of 2020.
The Philippines is the only one among Southeast Asian countries, aside from Singapore, that improved its ranking year-on-year.
Despite the upgrade, the country still lags behind its peers in the region with Thailand placing at 29th, down from 25th last year; Indonesia at 40th down from 32nd; and Malaysia at 27th down from 22nd.
In a statement, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said “the Philippines stands on solid ground and has the momentum to overcome the current crisis.”
The Trade chief assured that despite the socioeconomic difficulties arising from the COVID-19 crisis, the Philippines demonstrates resilience, flexibility, and adaptability for both the public and private sectors as they face the challenges head-on.
He also said the Philippine government, through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), continues to take an active role in nation-building and economic development through the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy, which aims to grow globally competitive and innovative industries.
“The DTI remains motivated to work even harder to build a stronger, healthier, and more inclusive nation. Through the resumption of the 'Build, Build, Build' Program, we can pump-prime the economy and by implementing programs to reskill and upskill our workforce along with activities to improve the competitiveness of cities and municipalities, aggressive investment promotion, and continuing support to MSMEs and other vulnerable sectors, we can help mitigate the economic impact of the COVID crisis,” Lopez said.
Singapore topped the World Competitiveness ranking. It was followed by Denmark, which rose from eighth spot last year.
Switzerland improved at third spot from fourth, while the Netherlands climbed from sixth to fourth place.
Hong Kong is at the fifth rank, down from its second spot last year. Meanwhile the US dropped to 10th spot from third.
China slipped by six places to 20th from 14th spot, while Taiwan rose five steps to 11th from 16th in 2019.