Thu, August 18, 2022


Climb in competitiveness whets appetite for more

THAILAND has jumped five spots in a closely watched international ranking of economies for business competitiveness.

The country moved up to 25th place in the International Institute for Management Development (IMD)’s 2019 World Competitiveness Ranking. It trails only Singapore and Malaysia in the Asean region, with the former also topping the global list.
The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) said Thailand could surpass Malaysia to become the region’s second-most competitive economy in the next five to 10 years. The government advisory body also urged continuity in government policies and education reform to ensure Thailand remained competitive in the region.
In the region, Thailand was sandwiched between top two Singapore and Malaysia (22nd overall) and Indonesia (32nd overall, fourth in Asean) and the Philippines (46th overall, fifth in Asean).
Thailand has the potential to overtake Malaysia in the next five to ten years, said NESDC secretary general Thosaporn Sirisumphand. He noted that while Thailand climbed five notches in 2019, Malaysia remained at 22nd place overall.
 “Furthermore, we expect foreign direct investment into the country to improve even further after the new government is established,” Thosaporn said. “After the new government is established, investor sentiment will be boosted and we expect further inflows into our markets.”

Legislative flurry 
He said the government should continue to push out new legislation to increase the country’s ease of doing business, commending the government for passing up to 400 items of legislation relating to this over the past year. 
The new government should also continue the current policies, particularly on infrastructure development throughout the country as well as in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), he said.
 “Education is a key weakness of our country and this pulled down our infrastructure ranking. Education reform should be a key priority so that new graduates are well equipped to meet the demands of industry,” Thosaporn said.
Wanweera Rachdawong, CEO and councillor of the Thailand Management Association (TMA), said the government should work closely with the private sector to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they have been relatively slow to adapt to the technological disruptions in the market. 
 “Moreover, the two sectors should cooperate in reskilling and upskilling the country’s labour force as Thailand currently lacks skilled labour to capitalise on the opportunities which arise from these disruptions in the market,” she said. 
Thosaporn said: “If these factors are strengthened, overtaking Malaysia as Asean’s second-most competitive economy will be a real possibility.”
 The IMD ranking is based on an evaluation of economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.
This year, Thailand’s world ranking in economic performance improved from 10th to 8th from last year, government efficiency from 22nd to 20th, and infrastructure from 48th to 45th. However, the country’s business efficiency fell from a ranking of 25 to 27.

Published : May 29, 2019