Translating the notion of a knowledge- and creativity-based economy into practice, enhancing the green economy, tackling rising commodity prices and accelerating budget disbursement and major public infrastructure investment are highlighted as Thailand’s major challenges this year, according to “IMD World Competitiveness 2011”.
Also on the country’s plate are tackling labour shortages in the production sector, creating harmony and solidarity among Thai people, and resolving political and border conflicts.
According to the report, which rates 59 economies, Thailand’s ranking has slipped one place to 27th.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Thailand’s ranking also fell from ninth to 10th place. Thailand was ranked ninth in 2008 and 2010, an improvement from 11th in 2007.
Asian economies that have seen their world rankings improve are Taiwan, which moved from eighth to sixth; South Korea, from 23rd to 22nd; and Japan, from 27th to 26th. Notably, Hong Kong’s competitiveness ranking moved from second place to first, tied with the United States, which last year was in third place.
Other economies that joined Thailand in falling were Malaysia, from 10th to 16th; mainland China, from 18th to 19th; India, from 31st to 32nd; Indonesia, from 35th to 37th; and the Philippines, from 39th to 41st.
IMD (the International Institute for Management Development) is a business school based in Lausanne, Switzerland, that operates a number of research centres, including the World Competitiveness Centre.
According to data provided by IMD’s partner the Thailand Management Association (TMA), Thailand witnessed improvements in terms of economic growth, budget deficit, unemployment, risk of political instability, labour-market flexibility, overseas investment, and exports.
The Kingdom showed declines in consumer price inflation, government subsidies, green technologies, communications technology, tourism receipts, educational system, justice, scientific research and ethical practices.
The TMA also conducted an executive survey on the five most attractive economic factors. The factors chosen were economic dynamism, low operating costs, skilled workforce, productivity, and reliable infrastructure.
Among the 59 economies, Thailand best placing was in terms of labour market (second). It performed worse in terms of health and environment (54th). It was also poor in terms of education (51st) and technology infrastructure (52nd).
In the top 10 list, aside from Hong Kong and the United States, were Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Canada, Qatar, Australia and Germany.
According to IMD, which conducts the survey every year, the recovery of financial markets pushes the United States back to the top, sharing first place with Hong Kong, and slightly ahead of Singapore. Sweden jumps to fourth place, highlighting the competitiveness of the Nordic model. Germany shines thanks to buoyant exports and a flexible labour market.
“The world of competitiveness becomes more national,” said Professor Stephane Garelli, director of IMD’s World Competitiveness Centre. “‘World Competitiveness 2.0’ is thus characterised by greater self-reliance of countries. It increasingly emphasises re-industrialisation, exports and a more critical look at de-localisation.”
“This trend is triggered by the rise in commodity and transport prices and higher labour costs in emerging economies. National champions are favoured everywhere and borders resurface – again.”
Source: The Nation