The Philippines is up six places in the year’s World Talent Ranking (WTR). Of the 63 participating nations, it was ranked as number 49 overall, with its improved performance said to be down to its ready supply of talent, an attribute that has helped mitigate the problems the country still faces in terms of its poorly-resourced and under-developed education system. Conducted on an annual basis by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), an elite Swiss business school, the WTR ranks countries in terms of their ability to attract, nurture and retain high-caliber business-oriented professionals. For 2019, countries were ranked across 32 criteria in three specific areas – investment and development, appeal and readiness. In the case of the Philippines, it has consistently ranked highly with regard to readiness and was, this year, placed 26th overall in this category (up from 37 last year). Its improved performance here was said to be largely down to an increase in its level of skilled labor, an upturn in language skills and its higher overall proportion of science graduates.
In terms of appeal, this year the Philippines finished in 31st place (up from 38 last year) with cost of living and conducive personal income tax rates among the criteria ranked positively, while quality of life, compliance with international legal norms and its relative inability to retain the brightest and best graduates counted against it. In it was in terms of investment and development – particularly with regard to education – where the country was seen as most lacking, leaving it languishing in 61st place. Among the other ASEAN nations featured in the report, Singapore was the highest ranked (10), followed by Malaysia (22), Indonesia (41) and Thailand (43). Overall, Switzerland topped the list, followed by Denmark, Sweden, Austria and then Luxembourg.