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Thailand Slumps to 29th Spot in World Competitiveness Rankings

Thailand fell four places from 25th spot in 2019 to 29th in IMD’s world competitiveness rankings for 2020, dragged down by poor rankings for economic performance and government efficiency.

Olivier Languepin

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Thailand fell four places from the 25th spot in 2019 to 29th in IMD’s world competitiveness rankings for 2020, dragged down by poor rankings for economic performance and government efficiency.

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As far as Asean peers are concerned, Singapore kept pole position while Indonesia saw the largest drop (8), from 32nd to 40th.

Malaysia fell five positions to 27th, and the Philippines was the only Asean country that saw improvement, up one position to 45th.

While Hong Kong SAR came in at 5th, this is a far cry from 2nd which it enjoyed last year. A decline that IMD attributes to its economic performance, social turmoil in Hong Kong and the rub-on effect of the Chinese economy. However, the 2020 rankings do not pick up on events in the last couple of months.

Thailand’s challenges in 2020

Urgent measures to support citizens and small businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

Measures to recover key sectors affected by the new norm of social distancing and travel restrictions e.g. tourism and services

Hasten digital transformation, especially in education and healthcare.

Establish a national crisis management system with lessons learned from the current crisis, optimizing technology infrastructure.

Source: Thailand country profile

The top three’s different recipes for success

Factors behind Singapore’s success are its strong economic performance which stems from robust international trade and investment, employment and labor market measures.

Stable performances in both its education system and technological infrastructure – telecommunications, internet bandwidth speed and high-tech exports – also play key roles.

Denmark, in 2nd, can credit a robust economy, labor market, and health and education systems. In addition, the country performs very well in international investment and productivity, and topped Europe in business efficiency.

Switzerland has been gradually edging towards a podium position, from 5th to 4th and now 3rd in 2020. Robust international trade fuels its strong economic performance, whilst its scientific infrastructure and health and education systems show steadfast displays.

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50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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Customs Department Considers Measures to Help SMEs

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Customs Department is seeking ways to reduce the impact of the exemption on import tax and value-added tax (VAT) for imported goods worth up to 1,500 baht, as such measures are hurting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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