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Unctad rates poorly PHL capacity to tap resources

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THE Philippines has scored dismally in a United Nations index that measures the capacity of economies to take advantage of their resources to produce goods and services.

The Philippines was rated 122nd out of 193 economies in the Productive Capacities Index (PCI) published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad). The country was given a score of 29.81 in a scale of up to 100, as it struggled to compete in the areas of information and communications technology, transportation and structural reforms.

According to the Unctad, the PCI surveys “the productive resources, entrepreneurial capabilities and production linkages that together determine the capacity of a country to produce goods and services and enable it to grow and develop.”

In the index, the Philippines obtained its highest points in the categories of private sector, 81.01, and natural capital, 51.26. Private sector looks into the ease of cross-border trade and support to business on credit, contract enforcement and registration; while natural capacity assesses the availability of extractive and agricultural resources.

However, the Philippines flunked in the rest of the categories: institutions, 47.07; human capital, 43.99; energy, 27.86; structural change, 20.02; transport, 12.82; and ICTs, 10.35.

The PCI’s transport evaluates a country’s capability to take people and goods from one place to another. On the other hand, ICTs examines the accessibility and integration of communication systems, including fixed line and mobile phone users, Internet access and server security, within the population.

Asean peers

When pitted against Southeast Asian neighbors, the Philippines ranked seventh in the region to lead only Lao PDR at 138th, Cambodia at 142nd and Myanmar at 158th.

Singapore bested all Southeast Asian nations with a score of 44.46 to place 13th overall. Brunei Darussalam ranked second in the region from a far 58th, followed by Thailand 61st, Malaysia at 62nd, Vietnam at 99th and Indonesia at 121st.

Unctad Secretary General Mukhisa Kutiyu argued that states need to capitalize on their competitive advantages to recover from the economic damages suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that productive capacities can help countries avoid the trap of focusing too much on a few areas to boost their chances at economic growth and poverty reduction. He said the PCI should provide governments with the insight on where they can improve on in the fight against poverty and campaign toward development.

“As countries fight the coronavirus crisis, their need to build economy-wide productive capacities for inclusive and sustainable growth is greater than ever,” Kituyi said.

Globally, the United States topped all of the 193 economies included in the PCI with a rating of 50.51. The Netherlands placed next with 48.22, trailed by Iceland’s 47.96, Luxembourg’s 47.62 and Germany’s 47.38.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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