If you look at Thailand's competitiveness, the key constraint is the quality of government. The latest Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) rates corruption as the most problematic factor for doing business in Thailand. Some of the detailed data in the GCI are depressing. For example, among 148 countries, Thailand ranks 101 in diversion of public funds, 127 in public trust in politicians, and 107 in wastefulness of public spending.
Corruption is difficult to measure, of course. In the perceptions of people in Thailand and around the world, corruption is closely related to administrative efficiency, rule of law, and ethics in the private sector. We can spend days or even academic lifetimes debating definitions and the deeper causes of corruption and weak governance. Let's focus instead on a separable, practical question: what can be done to reduce corruption?
Here there is good news. Even in very corrupt settings, corruption can be reduced, leading to greater investment and public satisfaction.
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