BANGKOK — Thailand is the 27th easiest country in the world to start a business, according to a new World Bank economic forecast.
A year after it placed Thailand’s economic regulations among the world’s most reformed for the first time, the Doing Business 2019 report released Wednesday gave higher marks for business prospects in the kingdom, though it fell one place overall.
The composite score for Thailand for 2019 was 78.45 in the annual report, which evaluates the regulations that encourage or constrain business in 11 areas including how convenient it is to start a business in a country with indicators such as formalities and costs for starting a company, permits, utilities, property rights, credit and the labor market.
The score is calculated by 41 scaled indicators on a uniform set of economic criteria.
Thailand has improved considerably since it was ranked 46th for 2017 and now ranks higher than top world economies such as Japan (39th) and China (46th). New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong and South Korea have been ranked the top five countries since 2015.
Malaysia came in 15th in the 2019 forecast, up from 24th. Indonesia and Vietnam dropped a single place to 73rd and 69th, respectively. India leaped from 100th to 77th.
Last year’s forecast pegged improvements in Thailand’s regulatory framework the second best in the world behind Brunei Darussalam.
Mara Warwick, World Bank’s director for Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines, said in a statement that the nation’s most important improvements included cutting costs of registering businesses, improving access to electricity, implementing a new tax code and going digital to speed international shipping.
She said the result shows that Thailand is determined to improve the business environment for private entrepreneurs, which would develop the job market for Thai people and lead to a better life quality.