Thailand rises two places in Global Competitiveness Index

Thailand sustained its steady rise in the annual Global Competitiveness Index published by the World Economic Forum last week, reaching 38th place out of 140 countries, up two places from the previous report, as greater weight was given this year to each nation’s embrace of the fourth industrial revolution of advanced and digital technology.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is disrupting economies and societies by redefining the way we work, live and interact with each other. The 4IR offers the potential to leapfrog stages of development— but it also makes the pathway to development less certain,” the report said.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) works with the Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok to gauge Thailand’s performance in the 12 pillars the report examines to measure competitiveness. The University said the report’s results indicate that the Kingdom is steadily moving towards its goal of achieving a more advanced level of development under the Thailand 4.0 national strategy.

Among the top 40 most competitive nations, the Kingdom was one of only three that are not defined as a high-income country. Thailand is categorized as an upper-middle-income country, along with Malaysia and China, which were the other two in the top 40. The WEF said the report showed a strong correlation between income level and competitiveness, implying that Thailand is an over-performer.

Thailand scored most strongly in Pillar 9, the financial system. The Kingdom achieved a rank of 14th worldwide with a score of 84.19 out of 100. The essential features examined in that pillar are 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.

Thailand also scored well in Pillar 10, market size. The Kingdom achieved an impressive ranking of 18th with a score of 74.8 based on the market accessibility of domestic and foreign companies in Thailand, indicating that the country has fewer barriers than many others. This reflected the combined results of domestic consumption, investment, and exports.

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

The ten most competitive economies were listed as the United States, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark.