State agencies pressured to upgrade

State agencies pressured to upgrade

People wearing face masks stroll along the Chong Nonsi Bridge at the Sathon-Narathiwat Ratchanakharin intersection in Bangkok.
People wearing face masks stroll along the Chong Nonsi Bridge at the Sathon-Narathiwat Ratchanakharin intersection in Bangkok.

Thailand needs to accelerate digitalisation among its state agencies to facilitate ease of doing business, while workers need better technical skills to improve the country's competitiveness on the global stage, according to the state planning unit chief.

Another prescription involves restructuring the manufacturing sector towards technology, said Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council.

Thailand should also ramp up basic infrastructure development and continue improving the quality of the country's education system, he said.

"The Thai government still has a lot to do to improve its world competitiveness ranking and achieve its goal of becoming second in Asean over the next few years," Mr Danucha said.

"Digitalisation efforts in particular need to be upgraded and sped up in order to facilitate ease of doing business. Better technical skills for workers are needed to cater to the growing demand for technology capability in the country."

Teeranan Srihong, chairman of Thailand Management Association, said Thailand also needs to rev up restructuring the industrial sector to become an advanced industry, adding value to products as this will generate more income.

He said Thai productivity should be upgraded, as improvement both in the agricultural and non-agriculture sectors remains slow.

The educational system needs a quality upgrade and has for decades, said Mr Teeranan.

"Education is an urgent issue that requires full cooperation between public, private and educational institutions," he said.

Mr Teeranan said the government must also improve state efficiency and societal frameworks because transparency, corruption, law enforcement, political instability and political freedom remain key areas of concerns.

According to the 2021 world competitiveness rankings conducted by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) released on Thursday, Thailand climbed one spot to 28th, boosted by improvements in employment and public finances.

However, among its peers in Asean, Malaysia and Indonesia made the greatest gains, rising two places to reach 25th and three spots to reach 37th, respectively.

In Asean, Thailand ranked third behind Singapore and Malaysia.

IMD, an independent academic institution with Swiss roots and global reach, ranks 64 economies based on the extent to which a country promotes the prosperity of its people by measuring economic well-being through hard data and survey responses from executives.

This year the rankings exposed the economic impact of the pandemic across the globe.

Singapore fell from first to fifth but remains in pole position in Asia.

China advanced four positions to 16th -- the sharpest rise among Asian economies.

The US remained in 10th position and the UK climbed one spot to 18th.

The top four rankings were dominated by European countries, comprised of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, respectively.

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