RP more resilient to withstand the crisis than other nations –survey

May 21, 2009 2:40 am 

By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, May 20 — The Philippines ranked high in terms of resilience against the global financial crisis compared to other nations on the back of its robust economic forecast for this year, according to an international competitiveness survey.

Results of the 2009 World Competitiveness Yearbook released by the Switzerland-based Institute for Management Development (IMD) in partnership with the Asian Institute of Management indicated that the Philippines ranked 32nd in the “Stress Test” ranking with a score of 43.71, out of 57 competitive nations covered by the survey.

Its position was just close to the 28th ranking of the United States, which garnered a score of 49.74. Denmark ranked first in the stress test ranking which obtained a perfect score of 100 percent, followed by Singapore, 96.40; and Qatar, 87.93.

Other countries outpaced by the Philippines in terms of ability to withstand the economic storm are Indonesia, United Kingdom, Belgium, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Colombia, Slovenia, Mexico, Lithuania, Portugal, Estonia, France, South Africa, Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Greece, Spain, Russia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Ukraine, Argentina and Venezuela.

Aside from robust Philippine economic forecast which ranked 20th, the IMD survey results also attributed the country’s high resiliency to the readiness of business in confronting the future which placed 29th; society, 36th; and government, 48th.

Business factors include ethical practices, credibility of managers, corporate boards and values and entrepreneurship.

The Stress Test Competitiveness ranking, which focuses on exposure, readiness and resilience in a period of world recession, has been added to this year’s competitiveness survey.

Results were based on the IMD’s executive opinion survey completed by 3,960 respondents worldwide.

“The Stress Test shows that smaller nations, which are export-oriented, resilient and with stable socio-political environments are better equipped to benefit immediately from the recovery,” said Professor Stephane Garelli, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Survey, in a statement.

”However, only the good performance of the very large exporters such as the US, Germany, China or Japan will send a credible message to the world that the worst is over – a change that everybody will be able to believe in,” he added.

However, the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009 indicated that the Philippine overall competitiveness ranking slipped to 43th this year from 40th in 2008.

But this only meant a one-notch decline, with the addition of Qatar and Kazakhstan in the surveyed competitive nations.

The Philippines again scored high in the business efficiency, particularly labor market at 5th; attitudes and values, 29th; and management practices, 30th.

Other factors employed in the survey were government efficiency, economic performance and infrastructure where the country ranked low.

Ambassador Donald Dee, special envoy for international trade, said while the country ranked high in overall business efficiency, it has to work harder to improve productivity and efficiency.

To this end, Dee cited the need to reduce the high cost of business in the country, electricity and other utilities, and improve the overall policy environment.

He said the rising population growth should be effectively managed to increase the country’s per capita income.

“We need to find a common political ground in tackling our unmanaged growth that eats up our GDP (gross domestic product) base and long-term economic prospects,” he noted.

“We need to handle both population management as well as increasing the resources for basic services. Further to this, effective programs funding and attention must be expanded to education infrastructure, housing and urban development, entrepreneurship, and youth employment participation,” he added.

Likewise, Dee said investments in infrastructure have to be raised at par with other countries which is about 20 percent of their GDP.

Philippine infrastructure spending share as a portion of its GDP reaches only around 12 percent. (PNA) LAP/LDV/rsm

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