Thailand leaps 6 spots in EODB
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Thailand leaps 6 spots in EODB

Gains for permits, minority investors

Thailand advanced six notches to 21st out of 190 countries in the World Bank's 2020 Ease of Doing Business (EODB) rankings.

The country scored 80.1, slightly below Malaysia, ranked 12th, with a score of 81.50 and Singapore, ranked 2nd, with a score of 86.2, according to the latest EODB report.

Thailand's overall score in the 2020 report inched up by 1.65 percentage points from the previous year.

A country's ease of doing business score is reflected on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest and 100 represents the best performance.

Thailand saw a significant improvement in ranking in two indicators: dealing with construction permits, which ranked 34th with a score of 77.3, up from 67th with a score of 71.9 in 2019; and protecting minority investors, which ranked 3rd with a score of 86, up from 15th with a score of 86.

The construction permit process was reduced to 14 from 19 in the past year and time frame for the process was also lowered to 113 days from 118.

The score in the ease of shareholder suits index rose to 9 from 8 last year, which helped move up the ranking for protecting minority investors' topic.

Thailand earned the highest score in getting electricity with 98.7, followed by 92.4 for starting a business, 86 for protecting minority investors, 84.6 for trading across borders, 77.7 for paying taxes, 77.3 for dealing with construction permits, 76.8 for resolving insolvency, 70 for getting credit, 69.5 for registering property and 67.9 for enforcing contracts.

Among the 11 topics, the score for six remained unchanged. The six topics were registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said the jump in Thailand's ranking could be attributed to the government's efforts to streamline the approval process for doing business, adopting digital systems for government services, and improving rules and regulations to catch up with changes in business to beef up its competitive edge.

Despite the uptick in the country's ranking, further improvements to facilitate convenience and help operators' competitiveness are necessary to ensure Thailand can compete with rivals over the long run, he said.

Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, secretary-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the regulator's communication with the World Bank will be more aggressive, working with state agencies to protect minority investors.

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