Thailand scores higher rate in competitiveness

Thailand scores higher rate in competitiveness

Traisuree: PM happy with outcome
Traisuree: PM happy with outcome

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is satisfied with the country's improved competitiveness shown in ratings by the World Competitiveness Center, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul says.

Fitch Ratings, meanwhile, has maintained Thailand's sovereign credit rating at BBB+ despite the economic doldrums brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Traisuree said Gen Prayut acknowledged the competitiveness ranking announced by the centre under the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and is satisfied with the country's position.

In the centre's rankings of 64 economies, Thailand has secured 28th place, an improvement of one spot from last year despite a slight drop in the overall score, which is consistent with the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

The countries are analysed and ranked according to how they manage their competencies to achieve long-term value creation, said the IMD.

Ms Traisuree said while the country's overall performance was looking up, some sectors on which economic competency hinges had taken a battering in the past year.

A glaring example was the tourism sector which has suffered one of its worst downturns due to the pandemic.

Ms Traisuree said Gen Prayut has stressed that rehabilitation of the industry must accelerate with the target now set for the country to reopen its tourism in 120 days.

Leading the way is the Tourism Sandbox programme to be launched in Phuket next month. Tourists from countries with low or medium risk of Covid-19 transmission will be allowed to enter Phuket starting next month.

However, they must be fully vaccinated and spend two weeks on the island before they can travel to other parts of the kingdom, says the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The prime minister also said reviving the economy must go hand in hand with enforcing strict public health measures and the government campaign, launched recently, for the mass vaccination of the public.

Meanwhile, Patricia Mongkhonvanit, director-general of the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO), disclosed on Friday that Fitch has maintained the country's sovereign credit rating at BBB+ with a stable outlook.

Public finance remained strong as a result of prudent management and the latest 500-billion-baht loans secured to offset the financial impacts of Covid-19 on businesses and the public.

She said Fitch was confident the government will succeed in handling the risks from increasing public debt.

As of April, the public debt's Average Time to Maturity (ATM) was rather long, at 9.5 years.

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