Thailand moves up one notch in competitiveness

Thailand has moved up one notch in the annual competitiveness rankings published by the Institute for Management Development (IMD). The Kingdom is now the 28th most competitive economy in the world despite the economic and public health challenges posed by the pandemic.

The IMD cited improvements in employment and public finances for raising Thailand one level. The Kingdom scored better on several labor market indicators, including an increase in labor force growth and in-training opportunities for employees in the private sector.

Investors have long listed Thailand’s adaptable and cost-efficient workforce as among the reasons they choose to manufacture in the Kingdom. At the same time, global ratings agencies such as Fitch have consistently cited strong public finances for judging the Kingdom’s outlook as “stable.” Investors seek stability.

The IMD noted that the government deficit is still below 5 percent, which is an accomplishment considering the administration’s relief programs for people and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and measures to contain it. The institute also praised improvements in business legislation.

An independent academic institution, IMB is based in Switzerland. Its index ranks 64 economies and assesses the extent to which a country promotes the prosperity of its people. It measures economic well-being through data and survey responses from executives.

The institute said that Thailand also displayed some gains in scientific infrastructure.  Its analysts said there has been an increase in scientific research publications, Thai business managers were confident about collaborations between academia and the private sector, and the protection of intellectual property rights.

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