Thailand is one of the world’s most competitive countries, with high marks especially for its business sophistication, investment protection and export power. This is according to the “Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011” released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
In the report, the WEF ranks Thailand as the world’s 38th mos competitive nation among 139 countries and territories evaluated Thailand stands prominently among the top one-third of al economies around the world and is ahead of its rival business hubs in Southeast Asia.
“Thailand continues to beneft from its relatively large domestic and export ma-rkets, its excellent transport infrastructure, the effciency of its labor market, and a relatively well functioning goods market. In addition, the country’s business environment is relatively sophisticated with developed clusters and companies operating across the value chain,” the WEF said.
According to the Geneva, Switzerland-based organization, recent political uncertainty in Thailand was a key reason for the slight decline from 36th place a year ago.
With many strengths that beneft business people, researchers, technology advocates and other sectors across local society, Thailand outshines countries such as Spain, Indonesia, Italy, India, Vietnam, Russia, Mexico, the Philippines and Cambodia on the 2010-2011 competitiveness list.
Thailand Excels in Key Areas
In several categories, Thailand ranks strongly in the top quarter of all countries. The WEF places Thailand way up the list at 12th globally for strength of investor protection, even ahead of economies such as Japan, India, Indonesia, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, South Korea, Taiwan, mainland China, Germany and Switzerland. In the category for value of exports of goods and services, Thailand is recognized as the 17th most competitive country in the world. It comes in 20th for exports as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The report fnds Thailand 26th in the world for number of local suppliers and 28th in air transport infrastructure. As for the soundness of its banks, their solvency and the health of their balance sheets, the country also places high globally at No. 30. A nearly as impressive rating at just one rank lower was given for ease of access to loans. Moreover, Thailand is regarded as the 34th best country in the world for both labor-employer relations and prevalence of well-developed business clusters.
Thailand is positioned in the top one-third of countries for quality of roads (36th place), intensity of competition among local industries (37), attracting and retaining talented people to avoid a brain drain (38), minimal business impact of rules on foreign direct investment (39), quality of electricity supply (42), university-industry collaboration in R&D (42) and quality of port infrastructure (43).
In many other categories, Thailand also stands above the norm. It places in the top half of all countries for effciency of legal framework (48), judicial independence (54), capacity for innovation (56), fewest procedures required to start a business (57), female participation in the labor force (57), quality of management or business schools (58), quality of scientific research institutions (59), prevalence of foreign ownership of companies (60), production process sophistication (60), staff training (62), transparency of government policymaking (63), availability of the latest technologies (64) and quality of educational system (66).
Areas where the report indicated that Thailand should seek improvement include policy stability, infation, and its regulations on taxes, labor and foreign currency. “Such efforts will then buttress the country’s innovation potential, which will become increasingly important as it moves toward the most advanced stage of economic development,” the WEF said.
Developing Countries Drive Growth
The 139 countries evaluated for this latest report represent 98 percent of the world’s GDP. Developing nations are clearly leading the global recovery. The WEF said there is a “continuing shift in the balance of economic activity away from advanced nations and toward developing ones.” The report cites predictions by the International Monetary Fund for emerging markets to expand 6.25% in 2010 while advanced economies will grow at a much slower pace of 2.25%. It should be recalled that the IMF forecasts Thailand’s full year GDP growth to be as high as 8%.
Thailand continues to be a competitive location for investment, offering benefts across the board. Think Asia, invest Thailand!
Source BOI Thailand Oct.2010 Main Page