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Thailand's business ranking drops a notch

Publication Date : 26-10-2012


Though it has slipped a bit, Thailand remains among the top 20 countries in terms of business-friendly regulations for domestic firms, Thai and World Bank officials said yesterday.

The Kingdom ranks 18th among 185 countries and third in Asean in the World Bank's "Doing Business 2013" report, said Kirida Bhaopitrchitr, senior economist of the bank's office in Thailand.

The report focuses on regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small to medium-sized domestic business. To compile the data, the World Bank and the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission contacted law and accounting firms asking their opinions.

Ten indicators were measured, including ease of starting a business, investor protection and insolvency resolution.

Kirida said Thailand's ranking improved in three areas: registering property, paying taxes and enforcing contracts.

"Thailand's ranking last year was 17th out of 183 countries. This year's ranking is still good, and Thailand has been in the top 20 since 2004 when the report started," she said.

However, she said that while Thailand had reformed some of its regulations, other countries had done much better, so the Kingdom's ranking dropped slightly to 18th.

The number of taxpaying days dropped to 22 a year from 23, suggesting improvement, she said. The cut in the corporate income-tax rate from 30 per cent to 23 per cent also contributed to the improvement.

Vunnaaporn Davahastin Suthapreda, senior adviser to the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission, said there was plenty of room to make paying taxes much easier. Paying taxes was still time-consuming for firms because of the number of tax rates.

A Commerce Ministry official said it now spent only one hour to register new firms but it took 29 days for them to register with the Ministry of Labour.

The report also shows that the procedures for resolving insolvency are still complicated.

In the overall business-friendliness ranking, Singapore remains the champion, followed by Hong Kong. Malaysia ranks 12th. Thailand ranks third in Asean and sixth in East Asia. Singapore continues to provide the world's most business-friendly regulatory environments for local entrepreneurs for the 7th year in a row.

Korea is among the top 20 in the global ranking on the ease of doing business and

Mongolia is the region's top improver for the year in this year's Doing Business report.

Thailand is ranked 18th out of 185 countries.

Released on October 23, "Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises" finds that 23 economies in East Asia and the Pacific have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly since 2005.

During that time, China made the greatest progress in improving business regulations for local entrepreneurs. The report finds that 11 of 24 economies in East Asia and the Pacific improved business regulations in the past year.

The Doing Business 2013 report, which covers the period from June 2011 to June 2012 and which uses data for indicators that measure regulation affecting 10 key areas of the life cycle of local businesses,finds that Mongolia eliminated the minimum capital requirement for establishing a local limited liability company, guaranteed the right of borrowers to inspect their own credit data, and enacted new legislation to strengthen disclosure requirements for related-party transactions.

"This year, Mongolia joined the global list of top 10 improvers for ease of doing business in the report," said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. "Mongolia implemented reforms that cut regulatory hurdles and make it easier for local firms to do business. Korea, already among the top 20, continued to make it easier for enterprises to do business through regulatory reforms in four areas."

Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year, while Hong Kong, China, holds onto the second spot. Joining them on the list of the 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulations are in this order: New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Norway; the United Kingdom; Korea; Georgia; and Australia.


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