The Philippines is gaining a strong foothold towards competitiveness in the regional economy, an official from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said recently, commenting on the impending ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
“We are improving and moving in the right direction towards becoming more competitive in the ASEAN region,” said Nora Terrado, DTI Undersecretary for Management and Services Group in a press conference recently.
Terrado said the Philippines’ jump to the 59th spot in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014 of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is an indication that the country is positioning well in the ASEAN bloc.
Among the 10 Southeast Asian countries included in the report, the Philippines placed sixth in terms of competitiveness, ahead of Vietnam, Laos, People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia and Myanmar.
“There are a lot of worries around ASEAN about the integration but this has been happening over a period of years. It’s just a matter of formalization,” she said.
Terrado said that the Competitiveness Report has shown that the trends are positive across most dimensions of the index. She noted that the Philippines is leveraging on its market size, business sophistication, good financial market development, health and primary education.
But she said that while the reports mentioned mostly positive developments, there is also room for improvement.
“The improvements are coming from such a low base that the country cannot afford to be complacent. For instance, transport infrastructure has improved but remains in a dire state especially in the state of the country’s airport and seaport facilities,” Terrado quoted the WEF report.
Written by: Malou M. Mozo