RP  FALLS  IN  GLOBAL  RANKING  AS  INVESTMENT  DESTINATION

SINGAPORE
, March 31, 2005
 (STAR) The Philippines has fallen in ranking as an investment destination, a global survey showed.

The country ranked 40th overall, down from its previous 36th-place finish.

Singapore and Hong Kong retained their spots as the best places in Asia to conduct business in the next five years.

Singapore, Southeast Asia’s most advanced economy, was ranked No. 4 in the survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which saw Denmark dethrone Canada in the No. 1 spot.

Canada fell to second place and the United States slid to third.

The survey by the London-based EIU ranked 60 countries and cities based on their investment environment for the 2005-2009 period.

Among the benchmarks used were political and institutional environment, macro-economic stability, policy towards private enterprises, foreign investment policy as well as financing and infrastructure.

European countries dominated the top rankings, but the survey said, "East Asia will remain the most attractive region for investment among emerging market regions, as most countries in the region either consolidate or improve further their strong positions."

Singapore had the highest ranking among the Asian economies, followed by Hong Kong, which was in fifth place in the global tally.

Australia was in the 15th spot, trailed by New Zealand in 16th place and Taiwan, which ranked number 18.

Japan was in 28th place, falling two notches from the previous survey for the period from 2000-2004 when it was 26th overall.

Malaysia was number 31 overall, falling from 22nd, while Thailand was in 32nd place from 28th in the last survey. Indonesia was number 45, down two steps.

Vietnam placed number 50 globally, improving four points from its past ranking of 54.

Pakistan was number 57, down from 55th place previously, with Iran ending as the cellar-dweller at 60th place.

"The business environment rankings paint a relatively favorable picture of the global operating environment over the next five years," EIU said.

It forecast that average world economic growth in the 2005-2009 period would be faster than the previous five years.

"Despite the considerable geopolitical and security risks, countries have not, in general, retreated from globalization and liberalization," it said.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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