The Philippines climbed four spots from 52nd to 48th place in the 2022 World Competitiveness Ranking, the second sharpest rise in Asia Pacific, despite the threats posed by the global health crisis and the war in Eastern Europe.
The Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development said in a statement the Philippines showed major improvements in the economic performance (from 58th to 48th), specifically in the employment sub-factor (50th to 19th) along with international investment (from 49th to 42nd) and domestic economy (from 58th to 48th).
Economic growth recovered in 2021, with 5.7 percent, following the 9.6-percent contraction in 2020. Economic managers expect a faster GDP growth of 7 percent to 8 percent in 2022.
Unemployment rate in April declined to 5.7 percent from 8.7 percent a year ago and marked the lowest since the start of the pandemic. This was also slower than the 5.8 percent in March 2022.
Employment rate in April was estimated at 94.3 percent, translating into about 45.63 million employed Filipinos. This was higher compared to the reported employment rate of 91.3 percent in April 2021 or a year-on-year increase of about 2.36 million employed Filipinos from 43.27 million.
The latest ranking showed that the Philippines improved in infrastructure (from 57th to 52nd), while maintaining its position in education and a slight decline in health and environment.
IMD said the Philippines remained the poorest performing country among Asian economies, as it faced challenges in promoting innovative governance and a smooth post-election transition of power.
“The other challenges it faces include implementing effective post-pandemic economic recovery strategies, regaining lost momentum in poverty reduction and inclusive economic development, building resilient healthcare and education systems and sustainable infrastructure,” it said. Julito G. Rada
India saw the sharpest rise among the Asian economies (from 43rd to 37th) after four stagnant years, on gains in economic performance and business efficiency.
The top-performing Asia-Pacific economies are Singapore (3rd), Hong Kong (5th), Taiwan (7th) and China (17th).
Indonesia declined seven positions (from 37th to 44th) on poor performance in the domestic economy and employment sub-factors.
Thailand went down five positions (from 28th to 33rd) as it performed poorly across several factors, such as economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.
Denmark reached the top spot for the first time in the ranking’s thirty-four-year history, replacing Switzerland, which moved down to 2nd (from 1st) and Singapore which rebounded to 3rd (from 5th).
“Denmark is the most digitally-advanced country in the world and now takes the top spot thanks to good policies, advantages afforded by being a European country, a clear focus on sustainability and a push from its agile corporate sector,” Prof. Arturo Bris, the World Competitiveness Center’s director at IMD, said.
IMD said inflationary pressures were impacting businesses and the competitiveness of national economies.
“Inflationary pressure is affecting most economies,” said Christos Cabolis, chief economist at WCC. “Other global challenges affecting the competitiveness of countries include variants of COVID-19 with respect to the number of infected people around the world; differing national policies to address COVID [the ‘zero-tolerance COVID’ policy versus the ‘moving on from COVID’ policy]; and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.”
The World Competitiveness Yearbook is an annual report published by the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development on the competitiveness of nations and has been published since 1989.