2010 GDP: $199.6 billion
2010 FDI: $1.7 billion
The Philippines is the lowest ranked Asian country on the list of the most difficult places to do business in. It attracted just 2.5 percent of the $76.5 billion of foreign direct investment that flowed to the 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2010.
Despite having massive untapped mineral wealth, a key geographical location between Southeast and North Asia and a large, growing English-speaking population, the country has fallen behind its neighbors in economic growth.
Foreign businesses are wary of the Philippine's unstable legal system, violence, and bureaucracy. Its ease of doing business ranking from the World Bank fell a further two spots this year from 2010. The country also ranks among the lowest when it comes to starting a business, and resolving insolvency, with the latter taking more than five and half years, compared with an average one year and seven months in OECD countries.
Last month, Philippine President Benigno Aquino made trips to the U.S., China, and Japan to push for investments, as well as to send a message that things are changing in the country, after two previous administrations were dogged by corruption allegations. Aquino's trip to China resulted in $7 billion to $9 billion of potential investments.
The Philippines also jumped 10 places to 75th in the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness index this year.