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The Philippines claimed the top rank in a 2012 Business English proficiency survey, beating 75 other countries--including the United States and the United Kingdom--in the annual Business English Index (BEI) released by the GlobalEnglish Corporation.
The world’s average BEI level was pegged at 4.15, dropping from 4.46 in 2011. The Philippines scored 7.11. It was the only country to be ranked at the intermediate level, which required a score above 7.0; the country with the second highest score was Norway, at 6.54. Our score indicates that Filipinos’ proficiency in English is high enough to “take an active role in business discussions and perform relatively complex tasks.” The GlobalEnglish.com report noted that this was especially significant because the country “recently overtook India as a hub for call centers.”
The GlobalEnglish Corporation spearheaded the research to measure the Business English proficiency of global workers in the field; they surveyed a total of 108,000 global employees across 76 countries. "Addressing English skills gaps and ensuring that employees can immediately perform at the necessary proficiency level should be viewed as a strategic imperative for multinational businesses as Enterprise Fluency, the ability to seamlessly communicate and collaborate within global organizations, can deliver significant financial upside,” GlobalEnglish President Tom Kahl is quoted as saying.
Fluency in business English is a factor that can affect the economic growth of a country, as it expands the platform in market planning. “It’s not surprising that both the Philippines and Norway—the only two countries in the top five in both 2011 and 2012—are improving economies, based on the latest GDP data from World Bank,” the report stated.
The countries in the top five were as follows: the Philippines (7.11), Norway (6.54), Estonia (6.45), Serbia (6.38), and Slovenia (6.19). Rounding out the top 10 were Malaysia, India, Lithuania, Singapore, and Canada.
Meanwhile, the top five worst countries were Armenia, Cote d'Ivoire, Taiwan, Honduras, and Columbia.
[Click here to view the Business English Index.]
(Photo by Jerry Bunkers via Flickr Creative Commons)