World Bank says ease of doing business in Thailand improving

Thailand’s consistent and continuing pace of reforms is improving ease of doing business in the Kingdom, the World Bank said last week, as it once again ranked the Kingdom among the top 30 countries in the world in the its annual ease of doing business report.

The Bank cited four regulatory reforms affecting small- and medium-sized businesses for raising the Kingdom’s overall ease of doing business score, even as the Kingdom slipped one spot in the rankings from 26th last year to 27th best in the world this year. The report analyzes and ranks 190 countries.

“Thailand continues to demonstrate its commitment to improving the business climate for private enterprise,’’ said Maria Warwick, the World Bank country director for Thailand, Brunei. Malaysia, and the Philippines.

“This will help the people of Thailand get better jobs that will lead to improved living conditions. The World Bank looks forward to continuing our support to help the country succeed in adopting global best practices, especially in areas where there is room for improvement,” Warwick added.

The four reforms praised by the World Bank were:

*Reducing the costs of starting a business by introducing fixed registration fees.

*Implementing measures to make getting electricity easier by streamlining the number of procedures needed to obtain a new connection, and making electricity tariff changes more transparent.

*Simplifying the process for paying taxes by enhancing the online platform for calculating and filing corporate income tax.

*Speeding up border trade by introducing the E-Matching system for electronic cargo control, thus reducing the time for border compliance.

The Ease of Doing Business Index ranks countries based on whether the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation, and the level of protection for property rights. Economies with a high rank have simpler and friendlier regulations for businesses.

Improving the ease of doing business in Thailand is a key objective of the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and his government has implemented a raft of measures aimed at achieving that during its time in office.

As recently as four years ago, Thailand was ranked 46th in the world in ease of doing business by the World Bank, but part of the reasons for the Kingdom’s recent and sharp rise in the rankings had to do with the Bank changing the way it assesses countries. The changes resulted in more favorable assessments of Thailand.

Pakorn Nilprapunt, secretary-general, Office of the Public Sector Development Commission said the government welcomed the improved score.

“We will continue to oversee and be responsible for ensuring that efforts to improve ease of doing business are implemented rapidly so that public services can increase convenience for doing business and help enhance people’s lives,” he said.