Thai government plans to implement more reforms to ease doing business
The Thai government is looking to improve the country’s standing again in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report for 2018 by implementing more key reforms. Issues that the government is looking to tackle include enforcing contracts, registering property, and simplify paying taxes. Currently it takes 420 days to enforce contracts, the government is looking to shorten that time drastically; in Singapore it takes 164 days. They are also looking at reducing the costs of transferring property, the cost in Thailand is 7.3 percent of the value of the property, considerably higher than the regional average of 4.3 percent. The government is also looking to simplify paying taxes, currently it takes around 262 hours to prepare, file, and pay taxes, Thailand ranked 67th globally in the index for this and is looking to improve that ranking next year. The government is hoping to rank second in ASEAN after climbing more than 20 spots from 48 in 2017 to 26 this year.
The six main airports owned by the Airports of Thailand have seen continued passenger growth, often outstripping the airport’s ability to handle the passenger load. Total traffic rose 7.7 percent and the six airports handled over 820,000 aircraft movements, up 6 percent from the previous year. There were a total of 129 million passengers through Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Hat Yai, and Chiang Rai. Chiang Rai was the only airport not stretched beyond capacity but still registered 21.7 percent growth from the previous year. Suvarnabhumi saw a total of 59.1 million passengers, well over its capacity of 45 million, Don Mueang processed 372 million passengers, also over its 30 million capacity, Phuket saw 16.2 million passengers, and Hat Yai 4.34 million passengers. China, South Korea, Japan, India, and Malaysia were the highest numbers of passenger arrivals.
According to the World Travel Market report, Bangkok remains one of the top city destinations, Hong Kong ranked first and Bangkok second as most visited cities in the world, but Hong Kong saw its numbers drop by 3.2 percent while Bangkok is expected to grow by 9.5 percent his year to 21.3 million, London came in third again at 19.8 million arrivals.
The Ministry of Finance predicts that GDP will exceed 4 percent in the third quarter, beyond expectations and the Bank of Thailand will make adjustments to its forecast for the year based on the higher third quarter numbers. Consumer confidence also grew in October, for the third straight month. According to the survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce the CCI index reached 76.7 in October, up from 75 in September and 74.5 in August. Rising exports and the government’s new smart card welfare scheme have helped boost confidence while lower oil prices and the announcement of a clear schedule for general elections have helped boost confidence.