Philippines Tops As best Investment Site in Asia

JETRO Competitiveness Survey In Asia

The Philippines has emerged as the most competitive country among seven Asian economies as an investment destination and doing business whether in manufacturing or services sectors, the latest survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) revealed.

Trade and Industry Undersecretary Cristino L. Panlilio said that JETRO came out with this Philippine Competitiveness survey by comparing the Philippines with six other Asian countries wherein the Philippines bested China, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar in most categories. Competitiveness indicators included in the survey are financial costs, sufficient labor supply and reasonable salary (for manufacturing and non-manufacturing personnel).

The survey was conducted by JETRO on Japanese-affiliated Firms in Asia and Oceania for the period August-September 2011.

"We are the cheapest in almost all categories of doing business," Panlilio said.

The Philippines garnered favorable ratings in terms of competitiveness advantage on business environment in comparison to other Asian countries, the report said.

Based on the survey results, the Philippines has the cheapest rates when it comes to labor, rentals and land prices. The Philippines also has the least problem on the competency of its labor pool.

In terms of sufficiency of labor supply, the Philippines emerged to have the most plentiful number of workers and second to Malaysia when it comes to the availability of executives.

"In terms of employment retention, we have the best loyalty record. In terms of problems of workers competency, we have the least problem," Panlilio said. .

"The implication of this project is that even in Asia, we are now very competitive. In fact, we are the most competitive when it comes to those factors of business or investment decision making," Panlilio said.

Specifically, the JETRO survey showed that when it comes to problems on increasing financial costs in the Philippines, the country had the lowest percentage rating of 4.6 percent while China had 64.1 percent. Comparatively, ratings of Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Thailand and Malaysia ranged from 51.9 to 61.5 percent.

In terms of problems in shortage of land/offices, rising land prices/rental, the survey results showed this is not a major problem in the Philippines considering that the 5.8 percent rating is way far lower than the 32 percent rating of India, which is the highest. Ratings of Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam ranged from 9.8 percent-18 percent for this particular indicator.

On problems in skyrockettng payroll costs, again the Philippines had the lowest rating of 18.2 percent with Vietnam having the highest 61.3 percent. Malaysia was second lowest with 27.5 percent while ratings of Indonesia, India and Thailand ranged from 40.8 to 48.1 percent.

On sufficiency of labor supply, the survey showed the Philippines had the lowest rating of 3.2 percent followed by India, 4.2 percent and Indonesia, 4.4 percent respectively, in terms of difficulty in recruiting general staff.

This particular rating means there is a large pool of general staff which MNCs can recruit or hire. Ratings of China, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam ranged from 28.6 percent to 36.7 percent with Vietnam having the highest rating when it comes to difficulty in recruiting general staff.

On the difficulty in recruiting executives, Malaysia had the lowest rating of 37.9 percent followed by the Philippines 39 percent. Myanmar had the highest rating of 64.3 percent while the ratings of Thailand, China, Indonesia, India and Vietnam ranged from 40 to 52.8 percent.

Another indicator is low rate of worker's employment retention with the following results: where

  • the Philippines had a rating of 30.6 %, the lowest among ratings of other Asian countries.
  • Vietnam had 48.7 percent rating so far the highest,
  • Thailand, China, India and Malaysia ranged from 33.6 % to 42.5 %.

The Philippines boasts of highly competent and English-proficient labor force. Thus the rating of 37.9 percent the lowest which means our country does not have a major problem when it comes to worker's competency compared to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, China, Vietnam and Myanmar, with ratings from 40.9 percent to 56.3 percent with Myanmar having their highest percentage when it comes to problems on worker's competency.

For the manufacturing sector only, when it comes to difficulty in quality control Philippine ratings of 26.7 percent, the lowest so far among other Asian countries in the report, proved that manufacturing firms had minimal problems on quality control compared to India with the highest rating of 45.5 percent. Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and China with rating of 28.7 to 43.4 percent.

Reasonable salary, another competitiveness indicator, showed that the Philippines had 5.3 percent rating salary base-up rate for 2011-2012. Malaysia followed with 4.5 percent. Vietnam had the highest rating of 17.1 percent for said indicator while Thailand's rating was third from the lowest at 6 percent, followed by Indonesia, 9 percent; China, 11.4 percent and India,, 12.8 percent

For the annual salary (including bonuses, allowances, benefits like SSS, Pag-Ibig etc) of the manufacturing staff, the Philippines ranked third from the lowest giving an annual salary of $4,048.

The lowest was Vietnam with annual salary of $2,196 followed by Indonesia, $3,980. Annual salary ranges of India, Thailand, China and Malaysia were from $4,495 to $6,340 with Malaysia giving the highest annual salary for its manufacturing staff.

0n annual salary (including bonuses, allowances, SSS, etc) for manufacturing engineers, again, Vietnam's annual salary of $4,793 was the lowest, followed by the Philippines, $6,494.

Malaysia had the highest annual salary for manufacturing engineers at $16,092 while annual salaries of Indonesia, China, India, and Thailand ranged from $9,937 to $11,464.

On annual salary (including onuses, allowances, SSS, Etc) for mfg managers, still Vietnam's annual salary of $11,526 was the lowest annual salary of $5,199 again followed by Indonesia and the Philippines at $6,852 and $7,324, respectively. Malaysia had the highest annual salary for non-mfg staff at $14,554 while annual salaries of India, Thailand and China ranged from 10,088 to $12,334.

On annual salary (including bonuses, allowances, SSS, etc) for non-manufacturing manages, again Vietnam continued to be giving the lowest annual salary of $14,977 for non-mfg managers, followed by the Philippines and Indonesia at $19,187 and $23,068, respectively.

Consistent for annual salaries, all categories, Malaysia had the highest annual salary at $35,117 while annual salaries of India, Thailand and China ranged from $25,179 to $27,610.(Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat)

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