Tuesday, August 03, 2021

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After rise, Thai ranking may slide next year


THAILAND'S competitiveness ranking has risen this year, but an academic has expressed concerns that it may again drop next year.

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 The World Economic Forum's latest global competitiveness index of 137 countries, released on Wednesday, sees the Kingdom’s ranking climbed to 32 from 34 last year.
The top 10 nations in the rankings are Switzerland, the United States, Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan and Finland. 
Pasu Decharin, dean of Chulalongkorn Business School, said the country scored 4.7 out of a possible 7 on the scale. 
Thailand’s areas of improvement included infrastructure, a rising number of people using mobile phones, and the macroeconomic environment. Government investments in infrastructure projects have paid off and the private sector has also contributed to the rise in ranking, he said.
However, Thailand remains weak on the development of institutions and innovation, he added. Chulalongkorn Business School is an official partner of the WEF, helping to conduct surveys of top executives in large and small organisations across industry sectors.
According to the WEF, the global competiveness index (GCI) is calculated from 114 indices categorised into 12 pillars to reflect the overall competitiveness of countries.
The 12 pillars are institutions, infrastructure, macro economic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation. 
 Thailand is ranked low in heath and primary education at 90, institutions 78, labour market efficiency 65, technological readiness 61, and higher education and training 57.
The country is ranked higher in macroeconomic environment at 9, market size 18 and goods market efficiency 33.
The WEF also pointed out the most problematic factors for doing business in Thailand, including government instability and coups, inefficiency in bureaucracy, policy instability, insufficiency in innovation and corruption.
Pasu worries that Thailand's competitiveness ranking may drop next year due to an expected change of methodology, a so-called global competitiveness index 4.0 (GCI 4.0) by the WEF.
 "Although Thailand's competitiveness ranking has moved up to 32 this year from 34 the year before, Thailand ranking next year might drop to 41 when taking into account new questions being asked for next year ranking calculation," said Pasu.
The challenge for Thailand is how to develop institutions which have yet to provide better public services and protect people from numerous risks, he said.
Another weak point is the country’s ability to innovate despite the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy which focuses on driving economic development through high technology and innovation 
For next years, the WEF will not only looking at research and development(R&D), investment and technology but will also take into considerations new ideas, flexibility, willingness to collaborate and risk taking . 
 By simulating the current information with the GCI 4.0, other Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam would also find themselves in lower ranking under the GCI 4.0 which apparently favour westerner countries such as the US.
 
 

Published : September 27, 2017

By : WICHIT CHAITRONG THE NATION