THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said reforms promoting efficient government transactions and ease of doing business are starting to be reflected in the World Economic Forum’s 2018-2019 competitiveness report.
“From day one, the Duterte Administration has worked on various reform initiatives to improve the country’s competitiveness. The recent positive performance in the refined GCI (global competitiveness index) is a testament of the fruits of all of these reform initiatives, and we are gearing up for better,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Philippines was 56th in the latest report out of 140 economies and fifth out of nine economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The study’s metrics were not directly comparable with those of the previous study, but the country’s showing amounted to a 12-place improvement from the previous study.
“We are optimistic that with our ongoing reform initiatives with the enactment of the EODB (Ease of Doing Business)/Efficient Government Act, and efforts to promote government technology, the country will move closer to the frontier,” he added.
The ASEAN economies finishing above the Philippines were Singapore at number two globally followed by Malaysia (25th), Thailand (38th), and Indonesia (45th).
Mr. Lopez also touted government efforts including the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i3S) and the Inclusive Filipinnovation & Entrepreneurship Roadmap.
“These will foster development in the country’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem by strengthening the collaboration between academe/research community, industry, and government with focus on market-oriented research that would address societal problems and industry issues,” the DTI added.
The DTI together with the departments of Science and Technology, Agriculture, Information and Communications Technology, Education, and the National Economic Development Authority as well as the Commission on Higher Education, will implement the recommendations of the Filipinnovation Roadmap.
The Philippines’ highest scores on the index were for macroeconomic stability; labor market, financial system, market size and business dynamism; number of disruptive businesses; and growth of innovative companies.
The weakest scores related to strength of institutions, controls on organized crime, reliability of police, and conflict of interest regulation, among others. — Janina C. Lim