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Repeal laws and lower cost of doing business

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SINCE MID-2012, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) has been working to lower the cost of doing business in the Philippines. It is one of our larger projects and it is based on the results of the annual Ease of Doing Business report of the World Bank-International Finance Corp. (IFC). Two years ago, the Philippines was ranked No. 138 out of 189 countries in the world, and one of the lowest in Asean. As a result of our Gameplan 1.0, which outlined areas for improvement and recommended action steps, the country improved to No. 108, recording the largest improvement in the world.

Posted: March 29th, 2014 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Our program for building competitiveness in 2014

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After coming off a year when we made gains in seven out of eight global competitiveness reports (and we just started 2014 with another 8-country jump in the Economic Freedom Index, released in mid-January), I wish to give readers an overview of what lies ahead in our program.

Posted: January 24th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Rebuilding lives and urban planning after ‘Yolanda’

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When we started organizing the National Competitiveness Council’s regional competitiveness committees last year, our first intention was to get groups mobilized on the ground to get a measure of how competitive a city or municipality was.

Posted: November 23rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Improving the ‘Ease of Doing Business’

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By now, everybody knows that the Philippines ranks No. 138 out of 185 economies in the world measured on the “Ease of Doing Business” by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank. This global report, due for release at the end of October, measures the basic steps and amount of time it takes for business enterprises to undergo a government process across the lifetime of a business—from the day it starts (e.g., incorporates) to the day it closes (e.g., files for insolvency or closure). The 10 processes measured also include access to credit information and the level of investor protection, particularly of minority investors. It even measures the time a business takes to go to court to file a case and get a court decision to enforce a contract.

Posted: September 27th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Introducing the City/Municipality Competitiveness Index

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How competitive are our cities and municipalities? How easy is it to start a business in a city? What is the cost of doing business in a city? It is surprisingly difficult to get such data on a per-city or -municipality basis in the Philippines. For this reason, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) embarked on a project last year to organize regional competitiveness committees. Our intention was to create a systematic way of collecting and organizing data on cities and municipalities across the country for purposes of determining their competitiveness and business environment, for comparing with each other, and, eventually, comparing against other cities in Asean.

Posted: July 26th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Progress report on our competitiveness programs

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The next three years, from 2013 to 2016, are critical years for the Philippines. They represent the last three years of the Aquino administration—the second half of the six-year journey to completed reforms and better governance. Coming off a first half that saw the country growing from strength to strength and gaining in visibility on the global stage, the second half will bring greater attention, higher expectations, and more pressure to deliver results. It will be equally important to think about institutionalizing reforms so they become irreversible. The reforms must outlast the term of the present administration. These will be its greatest legacy. We all have a role to play in creating this legacy.

Posted: April 20th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Game plan for competitiveness

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It’s one of the key measures of our competitiveness and a report titled “The Ease of Doing Business,” prepared by the International Finance Corp. (IFC, a part of the World Bank Group), measures precisely that for the last 10 years. The report tracks the ease of doing business across 10 important processes or transactions which any business must undertake with a government agency or agencies. The key measures are the number of steps, the amount of time (measured in days), and the cost of going through these transactions. In some cases, it simply measures the presence or absence of a mechanism that offers investors some protection or access to information.

Posted: February 22nd, 2013 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

10 lessons on competitiveness

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As we close out the year, what lessons have we drawn from monitoring and trying to improve our competitiveness rankings over the past 21 months? Let me focus on our 10 most important lessons.

Posted: December 21st, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Raising governance standards helps boost competitiveness

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The last two weeks have seen a number of conferences focused on the topic of governance and the economy. The midyear Economic Briefing, with the theme “Good Governance is Good Economics,” was held on Sept. 17. On the same day, The Asia Society opened its 2-part series, “Philippine Transparency Forum,” which had speakers from abroad sharing their experiences in battling corruption and promoting good governance.

Posted: September 28th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Building regional competitiveness

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It is difficult to imagine a strong, competitive country if it were built around only a few economic hubs. For the Philippines to truly become competitive, it will have to build economic hubs or corridors spread throughout the different island-groups. For the country to grow and remain stable, it will have to establish multiple economic hubs, each with its particular strengths and attributes. Economic hubs will provide options not only for investors to locate but also for Filipinos to choose where to live and work.

Posted: May 25th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Transparency leads to competitiveness

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Over the last year, we advocated that transparency can lead to competitiveness and that good governance is good for the economy. Our basic hypothesis is that transparency and good governance basically build trust in an economy and society. Trust creates some benefits, among them the ability to attract more responsible businesses and investors, more competitive and honest bids for public projects, lower-cost and better-quality projects, and ultimately better services and infrastructure for the public.

Posted: March 10th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Competitiveness: Are we getting there?

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When we started work on competitiveness earlier in the year, we set stretch targets to raise our competitiveness rankings to the top one-third of the world by 2016 from its current position of bottom one-third. This is important because there is a strong connection between a country’s ranking and its ability to attract investments, raise its per capita GDP, and create jobs and wealth.

Posted: December 23rd, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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