Friday, September 25, 2009

RP loses ground in global IT competitiveness survey

THE PHILIPPINES continues to enjoy some advantages in terms of information technology (IT) competitiveness but overall it has lost ground in a new global ranking, industry officials yesterday said.

In a briefing, Business Software Alliance director Claro Parlade cited an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey which ranked the country 12th among Asia-Pacific states and 51st globally among 66 economies.

"From the raw scores, we can see that the Philippines did well and was basically pushed down by China and India, but we can also see that there are some areas that we need to work on," Mr. Parlade said.

The survey ranked countries in terms of overall business environment, IT infrastructure, human capital, legal environment, research and development and support for IT development.

The Philippines ranked ahead of Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan in the Asia Pacific. The top countries the Asia Pacific, meanwhile, were Australia, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, India and Thailand.

The Philippines performed lowest in research and development, ranking 61st. The local legal environment, especially for the protection of intellectual property, also scored low at 47th.

"The Philippines needs to address risks and challenges such as bureaucratic red tape, poor infrastructure, unpredictable policies and judicial intervention," the report said.

In terms of human capital, the Philippines was noted to have a shortage of skilled workers in the IT and business process outsourcing sectors.

Low domestic broadband penetration, meanwhile, was described as "lagging... most countries in Asia."
A high 69% piracy rate was also noted as a deterrent.

The country performed well in the area of IT infrastructure, with the survey citing wide mobile penetration.
Mr. Parlade said that the reason for the lower ranking was new methodology adopted by the EIU which gave greater weight to research and development.

But while the drop may have been technical in nature, he said "The country can’t just rely on cheap labor costs... We need to offer something that differentiates the Philippines like innovation." Read the original article here

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