ANILA, Philippines - The Philippines moved up eight places to rank 82nd out of 146 countries in Forbes' Best Countries for Business List for 2014, up from 90th in the previous year.
Forbes' list ranks nations based on 11 indicators: trade freedom, monetary freedom, property rights, innovation, technology, red tape, investor protection, corruption, personal freedom, tax burden and stock market performance.
The list used data from reports of organizations such as Heritage Foundation, World Economic Forum, Transparency International, Freedom House, World Bank, Central Intelligence Agency and Property Rights Alliance.
The Philippines moved up in the list amid improvements in eight out of 11 indicators.
The biggest gains were seen in terms of market performance as the country's ranking rose by 50 places to reach the 13th spot in 2014 from 63rd in the previous year.
In terms of innovation, the country climbed 15 notches to land in 51st spot from 2013's 66th spot.
Other indicators where the Philippines made improvements were in monetary freedom (up five places to 56th spot), property rights (up seven places to 67th), technology (up six places to 68th), red tape (up one place to 130th), corruption (up eight places to 78th) and personal freedom (up two places to 67th).
The country's rankings were unchanged in terms of trade freedom and tax burden at 86th and 101st, respectively.
In terms of investor protection, the Philippines slid by 21 places to 124th in 2014 from the 103rd spot a year earlier.
The Philippines was in the middle of the pack within the Southeast Asian region.
Forbes' list showed the Philippines behind Singapore (8th), Malaysia (37th), Thailand (62nd) and Indonesia (77th).
The country, however, performed better compared to Vietnam (111th), Cambodia (121st), Laos (130th) and Myanmar (143rd).
Forbes noted that while the Philippine economy has weathered global economic and financial downturns better than its regional peers, given its minimal exposure to international securities and lower reliance on exports, challenges still remain.
It said there has been limited progress in terms of bringing down unemployment and improving the quality of jobs.
"Long term challenges include reforming governance and the judicial system, building infrastructure, improving regulatory predictability, and the ease of doing business, attracting higher levels of local and foreign investments," it said.
The 10 best economies for business in 2014 were Denmark, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland and Finland.
Those in the bottom 10 (137th to 146th) were Algeria, Gambia, Yemen, Venezuela, Angola, Haiti, Myanmar, Libya, Chad and Guinea.
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star)