Thailand rises in World Bank’s ease of doing business ranks

Thailand soared six places in the annual ease of doing business rankings of the World Bank last week, rising to 21st place in the global standings, making good on a pledge by the government to make the Kingdom a better place for business.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanyana announced the news on Thursday as the World Bank released its Doing Business 2020 report. The report analyzes the regulatory environment and requirements for local businesses in 190 countries and has been published by the Bank every year since 2002.

Ease of doing business is an important factor in decisions by investors on where to locate or open up shop. Thailand has long been a preferred destination for foreign investors, but competition has been increasing in recent years, and so the government has vowed to improve the business climate in the Kingdom by streamlining procedures and reducing red tape.

“Thailand’s score is 80.1, up 1.65 points. This is our highest rank in the past six years,” Uttama said. He added that the Kingdom is closing in on regional rivals
Malaysia, which scored 81.5 and ranks 12th, and Singapore’s 86.2. Singapore is ranked second in the world and just overtook the U.S. in the rankings for the world’s most competitive economy.

Uttama also added that the country had improved in protecting minority investors, rising to third place in that category from 15th last year. The Kingdom also did better in dealing with construction permits by cutting 19 procedures to 14, and speeding approval time to 113 days from 118 days to 113 days, improving to 34th place from 67th place.

The Minister said, however, that the government is determined to keep making improvements to make business easier to do in the Kingdom, so companies can expect the adoption of more measures and efficient processes that will benefit them this year and in the future.

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