By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent
The Philippines has been named the best country to invest in by U..S News and has ranked the country 49th on its over-all Best Countries report.
In its 2018 Best Countries report, U.S. News said rankings are based on “how global perceptions define countries in terms of a number of qualitative characteristics, impressions that have the potential to drive trade, travel and investment and directly affect national economies.”
The study covers perceptions of 80 countries and gauged them based on 65 attributes and included 21,000 respondents worldwide.
“U.S. News and World Report said it used criteria developed by The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Y&R’s BAV Group.”
According to a report by ABS-CBN News, the report’s attributes were grouped into nine sub-rankings of adventure, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, open for business, power and quality of life.
Joining the Philippine in the top 10 are Indonesia, Poland, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Spain, Thailand, India and Oman.
Remittances and tourism industry
“Recent government actions have boosted social spending in an effort to battle high unemployment and manage a rapidly growing population, a quarter of which lives below the poverty line,” U.S. News said.
In a report by GMA News, U.S. News also cited that “threats to national order also come from separatist groups primarily based in the southern part of the country.”
“Each year, the Philippine economy is flooded with billions of dollars sent home by the large number of Filipinos living abroad. These remittances, along with a flourishing tourism industry, have helped maintain a budget surplus,” the report said.
“But the implicit dependence on global trends has proved risky, and opportunities in electronics, petroleum and other goods are being explored,” the report added.
The report said foreign investment in the Philippines was low, “but frequent devastating tsunamis and other national disasters often draw large amounts of humanitarian aid.”
“International rights groups have criticized the president for his controversial drug war, which has resulted in thousands of deaths,” U.S. News said.
“The Philippines is a member of major international organizations, including the United Nations, the ASEAN Regional Forum and the World Trade Organization, among others,” U.S. News added.
In another report by The Philippine Daily Inquirer, U.S. News has cited a United Nations data which shows that the country has continued to perform well despite declining inflows of foreign direct investment or FDI to Southeast Asia.
“In South and Southeast Asia, several countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines, are expected to receive more FDI in years to come, especially from within the region, in line with a division of labor between more developed countries (increasingly focusing on goods with higher value added) and less developed countries (increasingly focusing on labor-intensive activities),” the UN Conference on Trade (UNCTAD) and Development’s World Investment Report 2017 said.
“This may continue to strengthen these countries’ positions in regional production networks. For instance, five Chinese companies plan to invest $10 billion in the aviation, downstream oil, renewable energy, iron and steel, and shipbuilding industries in the Philippines,” UNCTAD said.
According to U.S. News, the Philippines “is expected to receive more FDI from within the region from powerhouses like China that are looking to utilize available labor in developing nations.”
In the same report by The Philippine Daily Inquirer, in a text message to reporters last March 5, Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez III has attributed the Philippines’ top ranking to its “young and hardworking workforce, an excellent inclusive growth momentum, an expanding middle class, politically stable environment, strong and popular leadership, fiscal discipline, stable monetary policy, membership in ASEAN, an achievable infrastructure program, a strong anti-corruption drive, and improved revenue collection.”