Survey: Philippines rated 50th best country in the world

The Philippines is considered the 50th best country in the world, according to a recent global survey conducted by U.S. News and World Report.

The annual survey — based on responses from 20,000 people from 36 countries — released earlier this January ranks the top 80 countries in the world, using 65 different metrics, such as trade, travel, investment, human rights, gender equality, religious freedom, and environmental consciousness.

The Philippines’ overall ranking for 2019 is one notch lower than the previous year when it took the 49th spot.

“Thousands of islands in the South China Sea comprise the tropical nation of the Philippines,” U.S. News and World Report wrote about the island country. “The land of beautiful beaches and abundant biodiversity has long been plagued by political instability, but its resilient economy continues to improve and push ahead of others in the region.”

The report went on to note that the remittances from Filipinos living abroad and tourism industry have contributed to the maintenance of the country’s budget surplus.

Foreign investment in the Philippines is 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,” it added.

The Philippines possesses a GDP of $313.6 billion, a population of 104,918,000 and a GDP per capita of $8,360. It is considered the 13-most populous nation in the world.

Each metric was categorized into nine subrankings: adventure, citizenship, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, open for business, power, and quality of life.

Among these categories, the Philippines placed No. 22 for adventure, No. 26 for business openness, and No. 37 for the quality of life.

Malacañang welcomed the ranking, with Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo highlighting the Philippines as an emerging market for business, investments, and tourism.

The presidential spokesman enumerated the ways in which the Duterte administration has reportedly worked to improve the country’s business climate and drive investor confidence to a higher level. Among these efforts, Panelo highlighted the cleansing the government of corrupt officials and streamlining the delivery of frontline services.

The country’s tourism, according to him, is also a priority with a focus now given on environmental sustainability.

Panelo said he was confident that the administration would continue to improve its ranking as it remains committed to institutional reforms.

The survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report, in partnership with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and global marketing communications company VMLY&R, looks at 80 countries to “capture how [they] are perceived on a global scale.”

The 80 countries had to meet four had to meet four criteria within the most recent year for which data are available specific to each benchmark to be included in the study: Top 100 countries in terms of gross domestic product in 2016 (World Bank data), top 100 countries in terms of foreign direct investment inflows in 2016 (World Bank data), top 100 countries in terms of international tourism receipts in 2016 (World Bank data), and top 150 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index, based on the 2016 report.

The survey then took the responses from 20,301 individuals from 36 countries in four regions, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and Africa.

“Of the respondents, 11,238 were informed elites and 5,963 were business decision-makers. Some respondents were considered both informed elites and business decision-makers,” U.S. News & World Report said.

Maintaining its No. 1 ranking for the third consecutive year was Switzerland. It was followed by Japan, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom, respectively.

Other countries listed were the United States (in 8th place), Singapore (15th), China (16th), Thailand (26th), Malaysia (38th), Vietnam (39th), and Indonesia (43rd).

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