Boost in competitiveness hailed

Economy October 18, 2018 01:00

By   THE NATION

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THAILAND has climbed two notches in the rankings of the closely watched Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 (GIC 4.0) to 38th place.



 The country improved its score from 66.3 in 2017 to 67.5 out of 100 in the report that is put out by the World Economic Forum (WEF), according to the Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy at Chulalongkorn University. The faculty is an official partner of WEF. 

The report, released yesterday, covered 140 countries and territories. The result has been taken to show that Thailand is steadily moving towards to the objectives of the 4.0 economy.

The WEF changed the criteria and methods of calculating the GCI rankings in order to reflect the so-called fourth industrial revolution. 

Under the study, the 10 most competitive economies were listed as the United States, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark. Associate Professor Dr Pasu Decharin, dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy, said the faculty had been responsible for collecting in-depth information from a questionnaire answered by top executives in large and small organisations across all industrial sectors. According to the criteria of WEF, the global competitiveness of a country or territory was calculated from 98 indices categorised into 12 pillars to reflect its overall competitiveness.

Regarding the new criteria and methods of calculating GCI, which were designed to reflect the fourth industrial evolution, Thailand moved up two places from 40th position last year.

For comparisons with the previous year, WEF also employed the new criteria and methods of GCI 4.0 to analyse the data of 2017. Under this framework, Thailand was awarded the score of 66.3 in 2017. The results confirmed that, with the new criteria and methods of calculating GCI 4.0, the country is increasingly advancing towards the goals of the Thailand 4.0 era.

Of note is that, when Thailand is compared with other countries, its main pillar was the financial system. 

This was ranked 14th worldwide with a score 84.19 out of 100. The important indicators in this pillar consisted of capital availability, credit services, a variety of financial products and financial risk diversification system, including domestic credit to private sector, financing of small and medium-sized enterprises, financial support to start-ups and the soundness of the country’s banks. 

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Moreover, the market size pillar of Thailand achieved an impressive ranking of 18th with a score of 74.88, due to the market accessibility of domestic and foreign companies in Thailand. This reflected the combined results of domestic consumption, investment and exports. 

Regarding Thailand’s further development and improvement to accomplish the goals of the fourth industrial revolution, its product market pillar was ranked 92nd with a score of 53.4. The study cited the domestic competition, market dominance, business openness and complex regulations. 

Free competition and uncomplicated regulations have led to the higher degree of innovation in this respect. Further, Thailand’s education and skills pillar was ranked 66th with 62.99. 

In comparison with the countries in Asean+3 (excluding Myanmar), Thailand was ranked sixth out of the 12 countries, after Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and China. The rank obtained was the same as the previous year regardless of the changes in methods and criteria. This reflects the potential of Thailand in terms of its sustainable competitive status in Asean+3.

The survey on the global competitiveness among countries under the GCI 4.0 is taken by policymakers as a significant measurement. In addition to assigning rankings of the global competitiveness among nations, the GCI highlights advantages and addressed issues in order to promote sustainable development in the future. In Thailand, the Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy at Chulalongkorn University is in partnership with GCI to develop and distribute such information.

Some academic researchers have found a positive correlation between the degree of competitiveness and gross national income per capita in each country. In 2018, all countries and territories in the top 20 of GCI 4.0 have high gross national income per capita. For those countries and territories in the top 40 of GCI 4.0, only Malaysia (ranked 25th), China (28th), and Thailand (38th) do not have high gross national income per capita.

The 12 pillars used in the rankings are institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, education and skills, product market, labour market, financial system, market size, business dynamism and innovation capacity, Pasu said.