MANILA — The government's continued effort to improve the business environment in order to make the Philippines a more competitive investment destination has been bearing fruit, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

In a statement, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez welcomes the country’s 12-notch jump in the 2018 Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to rank 56 from rank 68 last year.

"From day one, the Duterte administration has worked on various reform initiatives to improve the country’s competitiveness. The recent positive performance in the refined GCI (global competitiveness index) is a testament of the fruits of all of these reform initiatives,” Lopez said.

“[W]e are gearing up for better. We are optimistic that with our ongoing reform initiatives with the enactment of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Act (EODB law), and efforts to promote government technology, the country will move us further closer to the frontier,” he added.

The GCR measures a country’s competitiveness using 12 pillars which include institutions, infrastructure, information and communication technology adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labor market, financial system, market size, business dynamism, and innovation capability.

DTI noted that the country’s ranking in all pillars improved in the latest competitiveness index.

On the other hand, the country’s distance to frontier score for the 2018 GCR is at 62.1 from last year’s 59.8 score.

Aside from WEF’s GCR, the country also monitors its ranking in the Doing Business Report by the World Bank, which is expected to be released in the next few weeks.

Although the passage of the EODB law will not be counted in this year’s report, DTI is optimistic that this legislation will lift the country’s ranking in next year’s report. (PNA)