by DataLEADS/Asia News Network
Singapore, South Korea and Japan are the most innovative countries in Asia whereas Pakistan and Bangladesh are the least innovative, according to the Global Innovation Index 2018 report. Thailand comes in number 6 out of the 17 ranked countries.
The report analyses the energy innovation landscape of the next decade and identifies possible breakthroughs in fields such as energy production, storage, distribution, and consumption. It also looks at how breakthrough innovation occurs at the grassroots level and describes how small-scale renewable systems are on the rise.
South East Asia is at the third place globally in terms of innovation. Singapore leads the region with a high score in most of the indicators. Globally it has moved two positions up since last year.
South Korea is also among the high income countries that has increased investment in innovation and is ranked second in Asia. The country has not only increased the investment but also “improved its performance in the quality of its scientific publications and the quality of its universities,” It is followed by Japan that is ranked third in Asia.
China is ranked fourth in Asia. The country has been on a dynamic innovation trajectory. China’s innovation prowess has been evident in its global R&D companies, hightech imports, the quality of its publications, and tertiary enrolment.
It is followed by Malaysia which is ranked fifth in Asia and is one is one of the middle income countries that is edging closer. This year it moved ahead in the rankings with strengths in Tertiary education, knowledge diffusion, and creative goods and services.
Thailand ranked sixth has outperformed on innovation relative of its development, according to the report. It is followed by Vietnam and Mongolia ranked seventh and eighth in Asia respectively.
India ranked ninth is Asia is also seen as an overachiever in relation to its development. As per the report India is one such country that make a significant change in the innovation landscape.
Although Brunei is a high income country the innovative input score is very low. It is ranked tenth in Asia. It is followed by Philippines and Indonesia. Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh are the least innovative countries in Asia.
As per the report, innovation in Asia can grow if if increased protectionism—in particular protectionism that impacts technology-intensive sectors, IP, and knowledge flows across the board—could be contained.
Such dynamics, as per the report, could create the basis for productive knowledge spillovers and opportunities for collaboration and the generation of new knowledge and innovation.
Strong growth from key markets compensate for slight dip in Chinese tourists
by Thanchanok Phobut | Senior Coordinator, Thailand
CBRE, international property consultants, believe that the Thai tourism market is still as resilient as ever.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced they are expecting more than 40 million tourists to visit Thailand this year, up from the record-breaking 38.3 million last year. According to the latest figures, the first two months of 2019 showed a 2.5% year-on-year growth in international tourist arrivals at 7.3 million, compared to 7.1 million the previous year.
In the first two months of 2019, the total number of Chinese tourist arrivals decreased slightly by 2.2% – 2.17 million in 2018 to 2.12 million this year. Chinese tourist arrivals in February, the month in which the Chinese New Year was celebrated this year, decreased by 12.3% year-on-year.
Other key feeder markets like Malaysia, India, Korea, and Japan showed double-digit growth in the first two months of 2019, with India having the highest growth at 20.1% year-on-year. Even though the combined number of tourists from these four feeder markets was smaller than that of the Chinese market alone, this positive trend could replace any loss of Chinese tourists. The challenge remains for Thailand to win back this biggest feeder market now that the most significant holiday for Chinese people has passed.
Bangkok still attracts tourists from around the world. The number of international tourist arrivals to Bangkok in the first two months of 2019 was 4.68 million, a 3% year-on-year growth. The development of a third runway in Suvarnabhumi International Airport, approved by the government on April 17, will strengthen Bangkok’s capacity to handle larger numbers of tourists in the future.
“In the first quarter of 2019, Rosewood Bangkok, a 159 key luxury hotel next to Phloen Chit BTS station, opened its doors to the public. This was one of Bangkok’s most highly-anticipated luxury hotel openings together with Capella Bangkok and Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok on the Chao Phraya River, both of which will open later this year, underpinning renewed interest in the riverside area and capitalising on recent developments outside of the hotel sector,” comments Mr. Atakawee Choosang, Head of Capital Markets – CBRE Hotels in Thailand.
CBRE believes that Bangkok will continue to be one of the top tourist destinations in the world with new luxury hotel openings, improving infrastructure, and attractions that appeal to a wide range of tourists.
World Bank downgrades Thailand’s 2019 GDP growth to 3.8%
The World Bank is downgrading Thailand’s growth projections to 3.8% from 3.9% for 2019. This compares to last year’s 4.1% GDP. The Bank says that export growth has shrunk to 5.7% from last year’s 5.9%.
The World Bank’s senior economist for Thailand, Mr. Kiatpong Ariyapratya, says that the Word Bank also projects that Thailand’s growth rate for next year would remain at 3.8%. He was citing the East Asia and Pacific Update report,
“Thailand’s export growth projection for this year was adjusted down because of a global economic slowdown as a result of the simmering trade war between the US and China. Growth in tourist arrivals to Thailand this year is also projected to drop slightly.”
Thai PBS reports that, although Thailand’s growth projection is lower than the average 4%-5% rate for the rest of ASEAN, Mr. Kiatpong said that Thailand’s economic growth trend was improving compared to the situation 2-3 years ago, especially investment in the government and private sectors and the private sector’s consumption is picking up, constituting the main engines of economic expansion, expected to grow 4.6% and 4.3% respectively.
He warned that investments by the government sector for the year 2021, as well as government procurement projects and private sector investments, might be affected if formation of the new government is further delayed.
Transport Ministry and State Railways told to pay HK company 11.9 billion baht
The long running issue of Bangkok’s ‘stonehenge’ has been resolved after the Supreme Administrative Court handed down its findings today over the disputed contract of the 60 kilometre link from central Bangkok to Don Mueang Airport.
The Thai Ministry of Transport and the State Railway of Thailand have been dealt a costly blow after the Supreme Administrative Court today overturned the Administrative Court’s verdict and ordered the two state agencies pay almost 11.9 billion baht in compensation to the Hong Kong-based Hopewell Holdings Company for the termination of the Hopewell project – a 60 kilometre elevated highway and rail line from central Bangkok to Don Meuang international airport back in the 90s.
Thai PBS reports that the compensation, plus another 500 million baht in bank guarantees put up by Hopewell Holdings Company, must be paid within 180 days of the verdict from the Supreme Administrative Court.
The Thai court’s verdict will put an end to the long-running legal battle, between the Transport Ministry and the SRT on one side and HK’s Hopewell Holdings on the other.
Hopewell Holding was granted the 30 year concession in 1990 to manage the project, given the nickname of the Thai “Stonehenge”. The project was riddled with difficulties and widely criticised, resulting in construction being suspended in 1992 and the eventual termination of the contract in 1998, with less than 20% of the work completed.
The dispute over compensation went through an arbitration process under the auspices of the Thai Arbitration Institute which in 2008 ruled in favour of Hopewell Holdings, with both the Transport Ministry and the SRT ordered to pay Hopewell about 12 billion baht in compensation for wrongful termination of the concession.
The two state agencies challenged the arbitration tribunal’s ruling by taking the case to the Administrative Court which in October 2014 overturned the tribunal’s ruling on the grounds that Hopewell’s claim was barred by a time limitation.
Hopewell Holdings then successfully appealed the ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court.
SOURCE: The PBS
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