Thailand only ASEAN country that improved digital competitiveness

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Thailand is placed comparatively well on this year’s World Digital Competitiveness Ranking compiled by Lausanne, Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) which issues the ranking annually.

Measured by criteria such as technology training and education, an environment conducive to digitisation, society’s attitudes toward the adoption of technologies and the agility of business to take advantage of digital transformation, Thailand improved to rank 39 from 41 last year on a list of 63 countries.

Furthermore, the country ranked third in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), behind only Singapore and Malaysia and ahead of the Philippines and Indonesia. Among the ASEAN countries, Thailand was the only one to improve.

Within Asia-Pacific, on the other hand, the Thailand comes only tenth out of 15 since technologically highly developed nations such as Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea are strongly represented here.

For Thailand’s way to develop a digital economy, known as Thailand 4.0, the conditions seem to be set and are improving. Since 2014, the country has constantly improved in knowledge and the technological ecosystem of regulation, awareness and available capital. It, however, needs to focus more on future readiness, were the score went down from 45 to 49 since 2014.

Looking at the sub-factors, Thailand ranks particularly well in employee training (rank 13) female researchers (rank 2), mobile broadband subscribers (rank 3) and capital for technological development in the banking and finance industry (rank 11).

However, in terms of future readiness, there remains room for improvement in the segments of IT integration and adaptive attitudes, the ranking shows. Other issues are shortcomings in e-government and the persistent problem of software piracy.

Overall, Singapore and Hong Kong led the Asia Pacific region in the rankings, although Singapore dropped to the second spot and Hong Kong from the seventh to eleventh position. South Korea, meanwhile, reached the 14th spot (five places up from the 19th), while Japan advanced five places to the 22nd position. Both countries improved due to their advancement in components of knowledge and future readiness, IMD said.

China also improved (from 31st to 30th), while Taiwan saw a decline (twelfth to 16th place). Malaysia declined from the 24th to 27th place, seeing a decrease in technology and future readiness according to data provided by IMD.

“In the case of Malaysia, there is a significant decline in the quality of the technological framework, specifically with regards to communications technology and Internet bandwidth speed,” IMD noted.

The Philippines, meanwhile, experienced the largest drop in Southeast Asia, from 46th to 56th place due to declines in technology and future readiness. Reasons were that the Philippines suffered from a weaker economic performance and therefore a reduction in the capital available for digital investment.

Indonesia dropped three ranks to 62nd, making it the lowest-ranking country in the Asia Pacific region.

“The development of highly-skilled workers is a key-challenge for the country. In turn, it affects the capacity for technological development and the integration of new technologies in the private sector and in society, which led to low scores in the technology and future readiness factors,” IMD said.

Worldwide, the top five countries with the highest digital competitiveness are the US, Singapore, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland, while the least competitive are Colombia, Peru, Mongolia, Indonesia and Venezuela.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand is placed comparatively well on this year’s World Digital Competitiveness Ranking compiled by Lausanne, Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) which issues the ranking annually.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand is placed comparatively well on this year’s World Digital Competitiveness Ranking compiled by Lausanne, Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) which issues the ranking annually.

Measured by criteria such as technology training and education, an environment conducive to digitisation, society’s attitudes toward the adoption of technologies and the agility of business to take advantage of digital transformation, Thailand improved to rank 39 from 41 last year on a list of 63 countries.

Furthermore, the country ranked third in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), behind only Singapore and Malaysia and ahead of the Philippines and Indonesia. Among the ASEAN countries, Thailand was the only one to improve.

Within Asia-Pacific, on the other hand, the Thailand comes only tenth out of 15 since technologically highly developed nations such as Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea are strongly represented here.

For Thailand’s way to develop a digital economy, known as Thailand 4.0, the conditions seem to be set and are improving. Since 2014, the country has constantly improved in knowledge and the technological ecosystem of regulation, awareness and available capital. It, however, needs to focus more on future readiness, were the score went down from 45 to 49 since 2014.

Looking at the sub-factors, Thailand ranks particularly well in employee training (rank 13) female researchers (rank 2), mobile broadband subscribers (rank 3) and capital for technological development in the banking and finance industry (rank 11).

However, in terms of future readiness, there remains room for improvement in the segments of IT integration and adaptive attitudes, the ranking shows. Other issues are shortcomings in e-government and the persistent problem of software piracy.

Overall, Singapore and Hong Kong led the Asia Pacific region in the rankings, although Singapore dropped to the second spot and Hong Kong from the seventh to eleventh position. South Korea, meanwhile, reached the 14th spot (five places up from the 19th), while Japan advanced five places to the 22nd position. Both countries improved due to their advancement in components of knowledge and future readiness, IMD said.

China also improved (from 31st to 30th), while Taiwan saw a decline (twelfth to 16th place). Malaysia declined from the 24th to 27th place, seeing a decrease in technology and future readiness according to data provided by IMD.

“In the case of Malaysia, there is a significant decline in the quality of the technological framework, specifically with regards to communications technology and Internet bandwidth speed,” IMD noted.

The Philippines, meanwhile, experienced the largest drop in Southeast Asia, from 46th to 56th place due to declines in technology and future readiness. Reasons were that the Philippines suffered from a weaker economic performance and therefore a reduction in the capital available for digital investment.

Indonesia dropped three ranks to 62nd, making it the lowest-ranking country in the Asia Pacific region.

“The development of highly-skilled workers is a key-challenge for the country. In turn, it affects the capacity for technological development and the integration of new technologies in the private sector and in society, which led to low scores in the technology and future readiness factors,” IMD said.

Worldwide, the top five countries with the highest digital competitiveness are the US, Singapore, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland, while the least competitive are Colombia, Peru, Mongolia, Indonesia and Venezuela.

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