EU businesses rank PHL with easiest labor recruitment from abroad among ASEAN-5 (Philippines News Agency)

The Philippines topped among ASEAN-5 in terms of ease of recruiting labor from abroad and sentiment towards the European Union (EU), according to the EU-ASEAN Business Council Business Sentiment Survey 2015.

Malaysia came next to the Philippines in terms of ease of recruiting labor from abroad then followed by Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia.

In terms of sentiment towards EU, Singapore ranked second; followed by Indonesia at third rank; Malaysia at fourth rank; and Thailand at fifth rank.

The EU businesses ranked the Philippines second among ASEAN-5 in terms of availability of skilled labor.

The country placed third in terms of availability of competitively priced labor; stable government and political system; regulatory regime; provision of government incentives; fiscal structure; and administrative cost for business.

The EU-ASEAN Survey, on the other hand, noted that the Philippines needs more improvement in ease of importing goods and infrastructure which the country ranked fourth while it lagged in terms of prevalence of business-friendly customs procedures.

On the other note, the Survey noted the Philippines is a relatively competitive business environment as only 31 percent of the respondents reported that they face unfair competition in the Philippine market compared to 66 percent in ASEAN as a whole.

This is the first EU-ASEAN Business Sentiment Survey and comes at a time when the commercial relationship between ASEAN and Europe could not be stronger. The latest statistics show that Europe is the largest investor in ASEAN, and is the region’s second largest trading partner, EU-ASEAN Business Council Chairman Mr Francois Guibert said.

The sentiment survey shows that this commercial relationship will become even more important. Over 71 percent of businesses acknowledge that ASEAN has become a more important source of global revenues and 70 percent expect their ASEAN profits to increase in the future. This survey is proof that ASEAN is and will remain one of the most important global drivers of commercial activity, he added. (PNA)