Thailand surges in ranking for Ease of Doing Business

The Business Development Department has made business registration easier, introducing an electronic online system. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Thailand ranked 26th in the World Bank’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business report, a surge of 20 ranks on the previous rating and beating the movement of its peers in Asean.

Thailand was placed 46th in the 2017 report.

In the latest report, Thailand scores 77.44 points compared with 72.53 a year earlier. 

It stands third in Asean in terms of Ease of Doing Business, behind Singapore, which remains second, and Malaysia, which moves down one notch overall to 24th globally.

Other Asean members’ performances in the 2018 report:  Brunei ranks 56th (up 16); Cambodia 135th (down 4); Indonesia 72nd (up 19); Laos 141st (down 2); Myanmar 171st (down 14) ; Philippines 113rd (down 14) and Vietnam 68th (up 14).

 Government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was satisfied with the improved ranking.

Thailand had moved steadily up the ease-of-doing-business rating over the past three years, from 49th in 2016 to 46th in 2017 and 26th in the 2018 report, he said.

However, the World Bank’s press release also revised Thailand’s ranking for 2017 to 48th, which it said was comparable to the latest ranking of 26th, due to a change in the methodology of compiling the report.

The World Bank said Thailand made impressive strides, having adopted a record eight reforms in the past year.

“Thailand has made immense progress in doing business reforms this past year, with strong government leadership at the highest levels,” said Ulrich Zachau, World Bank Director for Thailand, Malaysia and Regional Partnerships. 

“With its 26th place ranking, Thailand has risen into the top 15 percent of countries globally in the ease of doing business – a great achievement.  We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with Thailand in support of a strong business environment, and more good jobs for more people all across the country,” he said.

Several recent major improvements in the ease of doing business stand out. For example, Thailand abolished a requirement to obtain a company seal and eliminated the need for approval of company work regulations from the Labour Department. As a result, the time taken to start a business has been reduced to just 4.5 days on average, compared to 27.5 days previously. 

Lt Gen Sansern said the prime minister mentioned that the improvement in each year was the result of the cooperation between the public and private sector, and particularly the improvements in working procedures at many government agencies.

“The government is sincere about supporting and facilitating convenience in doing business in this country and in foreign markets, by removing difficulties through use of Section 44 of the interim charter prior to normal legislation for sustainable problem solving,” he said.

Lt Gen Sansern said the government is working to  improve services in several areas, such as fixing business registration fees, cutting fees for electronic business registration and e-filing for payment of corporate income tax.

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