Philippines is world's 56th most competitive economy

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 27 2017 09:09 AM

MANILA - The Philippines moved up a notch in the World Economic Forum's annual competitiveness ranking, with red tape, infrastructure and taxes among top drawbacks for investors.

The Philippines ranked 56th out of 137 economies in the 2017 to 2018 Global Competitiveness Index, from 57th out of 138 in the 2016 to 2017 ranking, Geneva-based WEF said in a statement.

Switzerland remained on top of the list, followed by the US, Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan and Finland.

Brunei and Vietnam overtook the Philippines from last year's ranking, making it the 7th most competitive economy in Southeast Asia. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand were behind regional leader Singapore.

The WEF said the "most problematic" concern for the Philippines was an inefficient bureaucracy followed by inadequate infrastructure, corruption, tax regulations, tax rates and political instability.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who assumed office last year, promised to cut red tape, build P8 trillion in new infrastructure and reform the tax system while cracking down on crime.

The WEF said the world economy was "in much better shape" since the global crisis 10 years ago, citing "slow yet steady" growth that could hit 3.5 percent this year.

"However, we are living in a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty," WEF said, citing the need for world leaders to rethink their policies as technology advances.

"Continued growth is far from guaranteed," it said.