THE Philippines went down three notches in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR) 2023, to the 59th spot from 56th last year, among the 64 economies covered by the report.
The overall performance of the 64 economies are evaluated based on three Digital Competitiveness Factors: Knowledge, Technology and Future Readiness.
For the Knowledge factor, the Philippines went down to the 63rd spot from 62nd in 2022. The report defined Knowledge as the “Know-how necessary to discover, understand and build new technologies.”
The Knowledge factor has three subfactors: Talent, Training and Education, and Scientific Concentration.
The country’s rankings in all subfactors declined. For talent, the Philippines went down to the 56th spot from 55th last year; Training and education, 62nd spot from 61st in 2022; and Scientific concentration, 58th from 57th spot last year.
Under the scientific concentration subfactor, the report indicated that the country’s top strength is its female researchers, as the country ranked second among 64 economies.
Still under the Knowledge factor, the report said the country’s overall top weakness is “women with degrees” under the Training and education subfactor, as it ranked 59th out of the 64 countries covered by the report.
For the Technology pillar—defined by the report as the “overall context that enables the development of digital technologies”—the Philippines went two notches down to the 51st spot from 49th in 2022.
Based on the report, the Technology factor is made up of Regulatory framework, Capital and Technological framework subfactors.
The Philippines’s ranking in terms of regulatory framework went down to the 63rd spot from last year’s 62nd. For Capital, the country slipped by a notch to the 41st spot from last year’s 40th. But its ranking in the Technological framework improved as it climbed to the 43rd spot from last year’s 45th.
The report noted that the country’s strength lies in High-tech exports under the Technological Framework subfactor, where it ranked second. The country also showed strength in Investment in Telecommunications, ranking 9th among 64 economies under the Capital subfactor of the Technology category.
In contrast, the Philippines’s weaknesses are starting a business as it ranked 63rd; and enforcing contracts, as it ranked 62nd out of the 64 economies included in the report.
The third factor in the report which is also used to evaluate an economy’s digital competitiveness ranking is Future Readiness, which is defined by the study as the “level of country preparedness to exploit digital transformation.”
The Future Readiness factor consists of Adaptive Attitudes, Business Agility, and IT integration subfactors.
For this specific pillar, the country’s ranking also dipped in all sub-factors. The report showed the Philippines’s ranking in Adaptive attitudes slipped to the 59th spot from last year’s 58th. The country went down five notches to the 50th spot from last year’s 45th. Its ranking also declined by three spots to 60th from last year’s 57th.
Under the Future Readiness factor, the report said the country’s strength lies in public-private partnerships as it claimed the 31st spot and Attitudes toward globalization as it ranked 22nd out of the 64 countries.
The 2023 WDCR studied 64 economies—including Kuwait for the first time—by looking into the factors of knowledge, technology, and future readiness. These are broken down into nine subfactors, comprising a total of 54 criteria that are quantified by means of both hard data and survey responses from executives, the report said.
According to the 2023 WDCR, after having fallen to second place for the first time since the inception of the WDCR in 2017, the United States moved back to top position with robust results across all three factors: knowledge, technology, and future readiness. The consistency is the same as that of the Netherlands, which advanced four positions and ranks second, followed closely by Singapore, which ranked first in the technology factor.
Moving forward, the report noted that the countries’ ability to collaborate on regulation is “set to gain importance in the face of the emergence of artificial intelligence.”
“While we measure no specific AI indicators, the technology sits silently at the core of several of the subfactors that we quantify: talent, regulatory and technological frameworks, and adaptive attitudes and business agility,” Professor Arturo Bris, director of IMD’s World Competitiveness Center, which has been producing the WDCR since 2017, said.
“On a data level, the quality of digital regulation, the funding available for technology development, and the degree of company agility are all data points that are enmeshed with AI,” Bris also noted.