Thailand in Top 30 in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Report
Thailand remains in the Top 30 Countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Forecast Report for 2019, and while it was rated at 27th, down from last year’s 26th, overall Thailand’s score has improved. The lowered ranking is due to other countries who have implemented reforms faster and climbed up the ranking ladder. Thailand’s score last year was 77.39 overall and this year it is 78.45. Thailand has made significant progress in key four areas according to the report; starting abusiness became less costly due to a fixed registration fee of Bt5,500, obtaining electricity was made easier by streamlining the number of procedures needed to obtain a new connection and making electricity price changes more transparent, paying taxes was made easier by improving the online system for calculating and filing corporate tax returns, and international trade was made faster with the introduction of the e-matching system for electronic cargo control.
According to the Ministry of Finance the Revenue Department has recently introduced e-donations and other government departments have implemented e-payments. The Legal Execution Department has already drafted a cross-border insolvency law, aimed at better protection for creditors and it would be in line with international practices which is currently being reviewed by the Council of State, and plans to implement a system similar to Japan where the Legal Execution Department will act only as regulator and will allow the private sector to work in carrying out the actions. The government also plans on increasing digital systems to improve transparency and speed up transactions with government agenies. Thailand is third in ASEAN after Singapore and Malaysia.
Trade with China under the ASEAN- China Free Trade Agreement jumped 13 percent year on year to US$39.39 billion in the first half of this year. Thai exports to China were valued at US$14.93 billion and that number is expected to grow as Thai exporters look to expand their exports to China with the current US – China trade war.
Grab, the ride sharing app, and Booking.com have entered into an agreement that will allow Grab app users to book accommodation and pay with GrabPay through the Grab app. Booking.com users will also be able to book Grab rides when using the Booking.com app. Grab currently offers not just ride sharing, but also food and package delivery services. Booking.com has invested over $US 200 million in Grab as it sees its exponential growth across South East Asia with executives noting that the online travel market in Southeast Asia is set to nearly triple by 2025.