RP’s global competitiveness better in last two years

September 11, 2009 11:04 am 

MANILA, Sept. 11 — The Philippines was actually more globally competitive in the last two years than in 2001 when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took over.

“Let’s look at the entire history of our performance in this survey. We almost made it from the lower to the upper half of the survey in 2007 and 2008,” said Deputy Presidential Spokesman Gary Olivar.

Conducted annually by the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum (WEF), the Philippines achieved a percentile ranking of 54.2 percent in 2007 and 53 percent in 2008, both significantly better than the 64 percent rate the country received in 2001.

Olivar added the country’s decline in ranking under WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) could also be traced to the increase in the number of countries surveyed.

When the WEF ranked the Philippines at number 48 in 2001, there were only 75 countries surveyed. This year, the country placed 87th out of 133 countries, or almost double the number of countries ranked in 2001.

In a separate survey on ease of doing business, the World Bank echoed Olivar’s statement, saying the “slight drop could simply reflect faster improvement by a number of other countries.”

“The World Bank gave us credit for reforms aimed at easing the processes for credit access, paying taxes, and closing down insolvents,” said Olivar.

The country dropped from a ranking of 141 in 2008 to 144 this year under the World Bank survey that covered 183 countries.

“So will investors be moving their factories to Switzerland (which displaced the United States as the most competitive country under the WEF survey)? Are we really in danger of losing our tourists, BPOs (business process outsourcing), or electronics factories to higher-ranked countries like El Salvador (which is ranked higher this year at 81st), Botswana (70th), Mauritius 61st)?” Olivar asked.

He said the President wants the country to become a First World or prosperous country within a generation.

“Where she wants us to be is in the top 20 percent,” Olivar said, stressing the Chief Executive has set the foundation for economic growth for which future presidents can build on.

“Only with relentless economic growth will we enlarge our middle class; and only with a large enough middle class can we truly escape poverty, learn civic conscience, and impose unbending rule of law,” Olivar said. (PNA)

scs/OPS/ssc

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