MANILA -- The Philippines has improved its ranking in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, placing 56th out of 137 economies in the latest report released Wednesday.

The country’s ranking inched up from rank 57 in last year’s WEF report.

It was noted that the country had biggest gains in pillars of higher education and training, up by three notches from the 2016 rankings; labor market efficiency, up by four notches; and market size, up by four notches.

“It is good to see that we have maintained our overall competitiveness and even moved one notch higher,” said Makati Business Club (MBC) chairman Edgar Chua in a statement.

From 2012 to 2017 reports, the Philippines landed its best ranking in 2015 at 47th spot.

It ranked 65th in 2012, 59th in 2013, and 52nd in 2014.

However, the Philippines’ rankings in ASEAN declined by two spots as Brunei Darussalam and Vietnam climbed in the Global Competitiveness Index.

From being in the top five among ASEAN member states in 2016, the country’s ranking fell to rank seven.

Brunei Darussalam’s global ranking in 2016 was at 58th spot while Vietnam was at 60th. Brunei Darussalam and Vietnam’s rankings improved to 46th and 55th spots in the 2017 report, respectively.

“The state of Philippine infrastructure is in dire need of attention and action. While the quality of air transport infrastructure was identified as one of the country’s greatest disadvantages, ranking 124th out of 137 countries, the quality of other infrastructure such as roads and ports stand as big disadvantages, as well,” Chua said.

“In fact, we trail behind our ASEAN neighbors in almost all measures of infrastructure. We ranked lowest in ASEAN in terms of quality of overall infrastructure, in quality of roads, and in quality of air transport infrastructure,” he added.

The MBC official noted that implementing plans of the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build program will be vital to make the Philippine economy more competitive.

Moreover, other ASEAN countries’ rankings in the Global Competitiveness Report for this year are: Singapore at 3rd spot; Malaysia at 23rd spot; Thailand at 32nd spot; Indonesia at 36th spot; Cambodia at 94th spot; and Lao PDR at 98th spot.

For the global rankings, the 10 most competitive economies worldwide in the WEF 2017 report are Switzerland, United States, Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, United Kingdom, Japan, and Finland. (PNA)