June 17, 2021 at 08:10 pm
Othel V. Campos
The Philippines dropped seven places in the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking 2021 on poor economic performance amid the pandemic, the IMD World Competitiveness Center of Switzerland said Wednesday.
The Philippines fell from 45th spot last year to 52nd place among 64 countries this year, its lowest ranking in five years. The Philippines in the Asia-Pacific region ranked 13th among 14 nations, just ahead of Mongolia at the bottom.
IMD and local partner Asian Institute of Management attributed the steep decline of the Philippines’ ranking to economic performance, government and business efficiency this year. Its economic performance fell the hardest due to the pandemic while unemployment rates doubled from around 5 percent to more than 10 percent.
It also suffered in terms of public finances and productivity of firms in the private sector.
The declines were observed on gross fixed capital formation, labor force long-term growth, medical assistance, long term growth on employment, government surplus/deficit, real GDP growth per capita, real GDP growth, exchange rate stability, unemployment rate, researches in R&D per capita, youth unemployment, bribery and corruption, public finances, pension funding and exports of commercial services.
The IMD said that while there were declines in many of the criteria, there were also some improvements. The biggest improvements were noted on current account balance, foreign currency reserves per capita, homicide, patents in force, internet users, banking sector assets, tourism receipts, women in management, pollution problems, electricity costs for industrial clients, unemployment legislation, pupil-teacher ratio, access to water and youth exclusion.
The report noted the key attractiveness indicators that would help the Philippines improve its ranking. Respondents of the executive opinion survey ranked the attractiveness indicators as skilled labor, open and positive attitudes, high educational level, cost competitiveness and dynamism of the economy.
The IMF, with the help of the AIM, identified the challenges the Philippines confronts in 2021, including ensuring inclusive economic recovery and quickly reviving business and consumer confidence; effectively controlling the COVID-19 epidemic and implementing full vaccination rollout; building resilient social infrastructure especially in health and education; sustaining increased investments in physical and digital infrastructure; and, maintaining fiscal health while adequately providing stimulus and support especially for vulnerable sectors.
The global report recognized the top performing Asian economies as Singapore (5th), Hong Kong (7th), Taiwan (8th) and China (16th).
China had the sharpest rise among the Asian economies with a four-position jump, continuing the upward trajectory over the past decade. China’s model has helped them survive the pandemic, while Taiwan figured in the top 10 for the first time since the rankings began 33 years ago.
Switzerland topped this year’s global rankings, followed by Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Singapore, Norway, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
Among countries and regions with a population over 20 million, Taiwan ranked first, ahead of the U.S., Canada, Germany and China.