ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thailand drops in three areas
"Compared to [three Asean peers] Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, Thailand has done well in physical infrastructure, but it is below par in primary and higher education. The weakest of all are public institutions and innovation," said Dr Pongsak.
Public institutions have dropped 30 places over the past fours year to 70th in 2010, while primary education fell 22 places to 80th and technological readiness two places to 68th during the past two years.
The Geneva-based WEF has designated Sasin to survey local business executives whose views have made up two-thirds of the report over the past three years. The remaining results were based on hard data available from various sources.
Piyachart Phiromswad, a lecturer at Sasin, said the fact that the local survey formed the majority of the ranking was a key difference from another report by the Lausanne-based Institute for Management Development (IMD). The country's ranking of 26th in the IMD survey was the same as in 2009.
Another difference was that the WEF classified countries based on stage of development into factor-driven, efficiency-driven, which includes Thailand, and innovation-driven. The WEF assigned different weights to criteria for each stage.
"Major weaknesses in local executives' views are institutions (47th in the WEF survey), health and primary education (63rd), financial market sophistication (52nd) and technological readiness (45th). Three-quarters of the factors worsened. It is likely because the survey was conducted in May during which Thailand experienced its political crisis," said Dr. Piyachart.
In terms of institutions, the survey showed that trust in politicians was the lowest in the "Asean four" group (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam), with parliamentary efficiency standing below par, but trust in the honesty of the judicial system was the highest in the group.
Surprisingly, the country outperformed the Asean four group for quality of roads, electricity, telephone and mobile service, but lagged in its railway system. The local financial market is above par, but a lack of venture capital weighs down business startups.
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