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Competitiveness setback: Philippines drops in global ranking

Against the backdrop of global inflation, public health crises, geopolitical concerns, and various uncertainties, the Philippines witnessed a decline in its ranking in the 2023 World Competitiveness Yearbook.

The annual report, published by the International Institute of Management Development (IMD) since 1989, evaluates the competitiveness of economies worldwide based on 255 criteria spread across four factors: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency, and infrastructure.

This year, the Philippines dropped four places, ranking 52nd out of 64 economies compared to its position at 48th in 2022. Within the Asia-Pacific region, the country maintained its 13th position out of 14 economies for the sixth consecutive year.

Professor Arturo Bris, director of the World Competitiveness Centre (WCC), attributed the rankings’ changes to the impact of various crises, including global inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine.

The Philippines’ business efficiency factor dropped to 40th from 39th in 2022, while infrastructure, a persistent challenge for the country, slipped from 57th to 58th.

However, the most significant decline was observed in the government efficiency factor, plummeting four places to 52nd.

Sub-factors such as public finance, tax policy, institutional framework, business legislation, and societal framework all experienced declines within the government efficiency dimension.

Meanwhile, the Philippines witnessed an improvement in its economic performance factor, rising 13 places from 53rd in 2022 to 40th in 2023. Notable advancements were observed in sub-factors such as domestic economy, employment, and prices.

Looking ahead to 2023, the Philippines faces several challenges, including sustaining economic recovery amidst global risks, strengthening social protection and healthcare systems, addressing learning gaps in the education system, investing in sustainable infrastructure, and reinforcing efficient public management strategies.

The top three most competitive economies in the 2023 World Competitiveness Yearbook are Denmark, Ireland, and Switzerland. Within the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong secured the top three spots.

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