Despite strong economic growth in 2015, the Philippines fell a notch lower at this year’s World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) rankings, dragged down by the country’s economic performance and infrastructure issues.
The WCY, a competitiveness report by the International Institute of Management and Development, shows the Philippines’s ranking slipped from 41st out of 61 countries last year, to just 42nd this year.
Among 14 Asia-Pacific economies, the Philippines similarly slipped from 11th most competitive to 12th, according to a statement.
The International Institute of Management and Development evaluates the competitiveness of 61 countries over four broad categories: economic performance, government efficiency business efficiency, and infrastructure.
The Philippines’s business efficiency ranking improved by two places, from 26th to 24th, on the back of improvements in the subsectors of productivity and efficiency, management practices, and attitudes and values.
In terms of economic performance, the Philippines fell to 38th from 34th last year. While the Philippines ranked second in the subfactor ranking of resilience to external shocks and third in forecast real GDP growth, its dismal performance in other subcategories, such as prices and international trade, dragged down its overall score in economic performance.
The WCY ranking of government efficiency in the Philippines remained unchanged, at 36th place.
As for infrastructure, the Philippines showed improvement, rising to 55th in 2016 versus 57th place in 2015. It ranked poorly in terms of human development, pupil-teacher ratios, communications technology and pollution management.
The Philippines’s fall in the rankings reflects a general decline in the competitiveness of most Asian countries in the 2016 WCY. The rankings of Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea Republic and Indonesia also dropped markedly over the last year, noted in the WCY report.
Topping the list this year was Hong Kong, which unseated the United States, whose rank dropped to third place after three consecutive years at the top. Switzerland followed Hong Kong at second place. The US, which still tops in economic performance and infrastructure, lagged behind the smaller economies in terms of government and business efficiency.
The Asian Institute of Management-Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness (formerly AIM Policy Center) is the Philippine partner institute of the IMD for the annual release of the WCY since 1997.