Five challenges to raise competitiveness: IMD

business May 27, 2015 13:44

By The Nation

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Thailand faces five major challenges this year to sustain its economic growth in the short and long term, said IMD Competitiveness Centre.



In the short term, the country needs to stimulate short-term economic growth by promoting alternative sectors to compensate for the declining export growth and expediting.
IMD however placed more emphasis on long-term challenges that Thailand is facing. 
It urges Thailand to promote innovation-driven, high value-added industries for long-term growth. Thailand should also implement economic restructuring to facilitate income distribution. Meanwhile, Thailand should also implement necessary political and government reform leading to social equality and transparency. The education reform is also suggested, in anticipation of future agenda as well as to seriously foster honest and ethical national culture.
Among 61 economies covered in the 2015 World Competitiveness Index, Thailand is ranked the 30th. 
The ranking has been falling for two years in a row - from the 27th in 2013, the 29th in 2014 and the 30th in 2015. In 2012, it was also placed at the 30th. 
The ranking looks at several aspects of each country as a place to conduct business.
The ranking looks at 20 areas grouped in four main pillars - economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.
Thailand's ranking in health and environment is the lowest, at the 54th. The best ranking is seen in the employment area (3rd) thanks to the below 1-per cent unemployment rate.
Among 61 economies, Thailand's business legislation is also poor, ranked at the 51st. In terms of education, it is at the 48th. 
The United States remains at the top of the ranking as a result of its strong business efficiency and financial sector, its innovation drive and the effectiveness of its infrastructure. Hong Kong (2) and Singapore (3) move up overtaking Switzerland, which drops to fourth place. Canada (5), Norway (7), Denmark (8), Sweden (9) and Germany (10) remain in the top 10. Luxembourg moves to the top (6) from 11th place in 2014. 
Results for Asia are mixed. Malaysia (12 to 14), Japan (21 to 27), Thailand (29 to 30) and Indonesia (37 to 42) move down. Taiwan (13 to 11), South Korea (26 to 25) and the Philippines (42 to 41) slightly rise in the ranking. Most Asian economies in decline have seen a drop in their domestic economies and are impacted by weakening/ageing infrastructure. 
"A general analysis of the 2015 ranking shows that top countries are going back to the basics,” said Professor Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre. “Productivity and efficiency are in the driver’s seat of the competitiveness wagon. Companies in those countries are increasing their efforts to minimise their environmental impact and provide a strong organizational structure for workforces to thrive.”