World Bank: Thailand's business climate improving

World Bank: Thailand's business climate improving

Business operators attend SME Matching Day 2018, held Aug 2-3, at Centara Grand at CentralWorld. (File photo)
Business operators attend SME Matching Day 2018, held Aug 2-3, at Centara Grand at CentralWorld. (File photo)

Four recent key regulatory reforms affecting small- and medium-sized businesses in Thailand have been highlighted in the World Bank's latest Ease of Doing Business report.

This sustained focus on business regulatory reform was helping to narrow the gap between Thailand and global regulatory best practice, the bank said.

Thailand’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) score, an absolute measure of the country’s progress toward global best practice, rose to 78.45 this year, up from 77.39 last year. 

In relative terms, Thailand remained among the top 30 of the 190 economies in the EODB ranking, placing at 27 this year compared to 26 last year, according to the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2019’’ report, released on Oct 31.

 “Thailand continues to demonstrate its commitment to improving the business climate for private enterprise. This will help the people of Thailand get better jobs that will lead to improved living conditions. The World Bank looks forward to continuing our support to help the country succeed in adopting global best practices, especially in areas where there is room for improvement,” said Mara Warwick, country director for Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia and Philippines.

The reforms introduced in the last year – the second highest number of reforms for Thailand in a single year since the beginning of the Doing Business project in 2003 – carried forward the country’s regulatory reform agenda, Ms Warwick said.

Through the four reforms the following gains were achieved:

* Starting a business was made less costly by introducing fixed registration fees.

* Getting electricity was made easier by streamlining the number of procedures needed to obtain a new connection; also made electricity tariff changes more transparent.

* Paying taxes was also made easier by enhancing its online platform for calculating and filing corporate income tax.

* Trading across borders was made faster by introducing the E-Matching system for electronic cargo control, thus reducing the time for border compliance.

The report was welcomed by Pakorn Nilprapunt, secretary-general, Office of the Public Sector Development Commission. 

“We will continue to oversee and be responsible for ensuring that efforts to improve ease of doing business are implemented rapidly so that public services can increase convenience for doing business and help enhance people’s lives,” he said.

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