World Bank cites Thai progress on ease of doing business

business1Thailand is making progress on ease of doing business with reforms that have improved the business climate and is narrowing the gap between the country’s score and those of the leaders as it retained a spot in the 50 countries worldwide for ease of doing business, the World Bank said as it released its annual global ease of doing business report.

“Thailand is steadily making progress to ease the process of doing business,” said World Bank Country Director for Thailand Ulrich Zachau. “Continuing focus on reforms to promote a better business environment, in addition to implementing public infrastructure investments, developing skilled-workers through quality education, and promoting innovations, can further improve the country’s competitiveness, which will lead to more and better jobs for many Thai people.”

Although Thailand finished at number 46 out of 190 economies, it improved its overall score in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report to 72.53 from 71.65 in the 2016 report, narrowing the gap between the Kingdom and the top economies. Thailand implemented three reforms during the past year that contributed to improving the business climate. Officials made it easier to start a business through the creation of a single window for registration payment, and reducing the time taken to obtain a company seal. They also improved access to credit information by providing credit scores to banks and financial institutions. Lastly, resolving insolvency was made easier through new restructuring for small and medium-size businesses and by streamlining legal provisions related to company liquidation.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who oversees the economic ministries, said that he expects Thailand will do even better in next year’s report and move to an even higher ranking. The government, he said, is determined to clear away even more obstacles and roadblocks to doing business in the coming years.

“The country is aiming to become the world’s 12th and ASEAN’s (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) second best in the ease of doing business after completing its 12th national economic and social development plan, which will be implemented between 2017 and 2021,” Somkid said.

Singapore is the leader in ASEAN in ease of doing business and second in the world, according to the World Bank. Three other economies in the Asia-Pacific region finished in the top 10: New Zealand in first place, Hong Kong in fourth place, and South Korea in fifth place. The United States was ranked eighth overall.