(photo courtesy of www.philippineembassy-usa.org)

The Aquino government welcomed reports that the Philippines placed 87th among 141 countries in the Forbes’ Best Countries for Business List, ahead of China and India, a Palace official said on Tuesday.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday that the Forbes listing is a positive indicator of renewed business confidence in the Philippines.

Last year, the Philippines also placed 87th among 134 economies. But this year, the Forbes expanded its listing to 141 from 134 economies.

Forbes said its ranking was “based on property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.”

“It’s good that we’ve managed to maintain the ranking considering that there are now more countries that are being considered for the Forbes list,” Valte said.

The Philippines came ahead of China, which was 96th. Neighboring Singapore, however, was the highest-ranking Asian economy in fourth, while Malaysia (31st), Thailand (67th) and Indonesia (76th) also placed higher.

The Philippines saw a huge jump in terms of stock market performance, rocketing to 4th from 15th last year. It saw slight improvements in monetary freedom (61st from 62nd), innovation (62nd from 69th) and investor protection (105th from 108th).

In terms of property rights and technology the country’s ranking was unchanged at 84th and 77th, respectively.

“We are satisfied for the time being. But, moving forward, we hope to see the improvements in the ranking. We also note that the ranking went up in terms of monetary freedom and in innovation, and this is very important. Likewise, we went up in terms of the ranking for investor protection,” Valte said.

“And, as you know, that is one of the things that concerns the President when it comes to doing business in the Philippines. We’ve always said that the President has always been pushing that we level the playing field when it comes to, not just foreign investors but to domestic investors as well,” she added.

“We’ve also gone down in some and we’re trying to look at everything that contributes to the ranking,” she said.

Declines, meanwhile, were recorded in terms of trade freedom (86th from 79th), corruption (112th from 110th), red tape (128th from 123rd) and tax burden (110th from 89th).