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Returning to growth not enough –WEF

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has paused the ranking of countries for this year’s special edition of the Global Competitiveness Report amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

During the virtual launching of the report and media briefing, WEF managing director Saadia Zahidi said the Global Competitiveness R Special Edition 2020 rather evaluated economies based on their performance on 11 economic transformation priorities amid the global health and economic crisis.

“Returning to growth is not enough,” said Zahidi, adding the government should focus on policies that would increase productivity, ensure economic sustainability, and inclusivity.

She added that this would be the focus of the GCR in the next three to five years.

She added that the special edition of the GCR highlighted countries that are advanced in digitalization, have strong governance and planning, and strong health systems in place to maintain their competitiveness despite the pandemic.

Meanwhile, only 37 economies were assessed in the GCR 2020.

The Philippines ranked 64th out of 141 countries in the 2019 Global Competitiveness Index, down by eight notches from the previous report.

The 11 economic transformation priorities identified by the WEF are ensuring that public institutions embed strong governance principles and a long-term vision and build trust by serving their citizens; upgrading infrastructure to accelerate the energy transition and broaden access to electricity and information communications technology; and shifting to more progressive taxation, rethinking how corporations, wealth and labor are taxed nationally, and in an international cooperative framework.

The 11 priorities include upgrading education curricula and expanding investment in the skills needed for jobs and “markets for tomorrow”; rethinking labor laws and social protection for the new economy and the new needs of the workforce; and expanding childcare, eldercare, and healthcare infrastructure, access and innovation for the benefit of the people and the economy; and increasing incentives to direct financial resources towards long-term investments, strengthen stability and expand inclusion.

Completing the 11 key factors for economic transformation are rethinking competition and anti-trust frameworks needed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, ensuring market access both locally and internationally; facilitating the creation of “markets of tomorrow” especially in areas that require public-private collaboration; incentivizing and expanding patient investments in research, innovation and invention that can create new “markets of tomorrow”; and incentivizing firms to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion to enhance creativity.