The Philippines rose seven notches to 52nd place in the 2014 global competitiveness ranking of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 cited reforms implemented by the Aquino administration for the improvement.
“The country’s gain of 33 places since 2010 is the largest over that period among all countries studied. The results suggest that the reforms of the past 4 years have bolstered the country’s economic fundamentals,” WEF said.
The global competitive index measures the competitiveness of 144 economies based on over 100 factors grouped into 12 pillars.
“The trends across most of the 12 pillars are positive, and in some cases truly remarkable,” the report said.
The Philippines posted strongest results in the institutions, innovation, goods market efficiency, and macroeconomic environment categories.
However, the country continues to rank poorly in infrastructure, especially with respect to airport and seaport infrastructure.
The Philippines also remains weak in the labor market, which the report said “suffers from rigidities and inefficiencies.”
“The Philippines ranks a mediocre 91st in this dimension and almost no progress has been made since 2010,” said WEF.
Security, particularly in terms of costs that the threat of terrorism imposes on business, also remains as an issue in the country, according to the report.
The Philippines placed fifth in terms of competitiveness among nine Southeast Asian countries included in the report, ahead of Vietnam, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Leading Southeast Asia in competitiveness are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
The Philippines’ seven-notch jump is the biggest improvement among ASEAN nations, followed by Thailand’s improvement to 31st from 37th last year.