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Where’s the best place to do business in Asia? (It’s not Thailand)

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Singapore, closely followed by South Korea, remains the best country in which to run a business, according to the World Bank.  While Brunei, Thailand and India have registered the most notable improvement in the ease of doing business. Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh are the region’s lowest ranked economies.

In the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list, Singapore has been ranked as the second best country in the world in this year’s ease of doing business. It has consequently also proven to be the best country in Asia . It is followed by South Korea as the second best economy to do business in Asia.

Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand are the other countries in Asia which have been ranked high in the ease of doing business report. While Hong Kong has scored the fifth rank in the report, Taiwan and Malaysia have been ranked 15th and 24th respectively.

Thailand has been ranked 26th overall, and has registered strong improvement in the ease of doing business. The World Bank report, covering the period from June 2 last year to June 1 this year, tracks indicator areas such as the ease of starting a business, connecting to power grids, contract enforcement, taxes and bankruptcy proceedings.

The third largest economy in the world, Japan, has been ranked 34th, while Brunei and Mongolia have both been ranked 56th and 62nd. Importantly Brunei has been named the most improved economy in the world for the third year in a row.
China trails countries like Bhutan, Indonesia and Vietnam all of whom have been placed ahead of it in the ease of doing business report. The country has been placed at the 78th position in the report, same as last year.

South Asian neighbours India, Nepal and Sri Lanka have grabbed the 100th, 105th and 111th spot in the rankings. India moved up 30 positions in the ease of doing business rankings report as compared to last year, mostly driven by reforms in access to credit, power supplies and protection of minority investors. However, the World Bank report noted that India lags in areas such as “starting a business”, “enforcing contracts” and “dealing with construction permits.”

Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar are the lowest ranked Asian countries in the ease of doing business report.  Bangladesh has been ranked the lowest at 177, while Pakistan has been ranked 147th. Myanmar, which recently opened up its economy to the world, has been ranked 171th overall.

SOURCE: Asia News Network, New Delhi

PHOTOS: NationMultimedia.com

 

- The Thaiger & The Nation

Thailand's fastest growing portal for news and information, in association with The Nation.

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Thai Airways to end its Samui flights this September

The Thaiger

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PHOTO: planespotters.net

Thai Airways is scrapping its Bangkok-Samui flights from September this year. The airline’s been flying Bangkok to Samui, return, twice a day in a Boeing 737 carrying up to 149 passengers.

It negotiated a contract with Bangkok Airways to fly the two flights into Koh Samui, which built and manages the island’s airport since 2008.

At the time, the national airline said it would be convenient for travellers flying though Bangkok on Thai Airways to to transfer to a TG flight to the island, booking through the one airline.

It was also considered a breakthrough at the time ending a monopoly on the Bangkok-Samui flight sector. Bangkok Airways dominates the route offering around 19 flights daily each way.

Thai Airways are justifying cancelling the service this September following the signing of a codeshare agreement with Bangkok Airways last year. The airline can ticket its European or Asian passengers through to Samui using any of the Bangkok Airways daily flights at agreed fares that are competitive for TG to resell.

The monopoly for Bangkok Airways means that flights cost up to more than double for similar distance routes around the region.

Samui Island’s airport was developed as the first privately owned airport, but faced constant criticism from hoteliers on the island who claimed Bangkok Airways made it difficult for competitors to serve the island.

At one point the government threatened to build a second airport on the island, but land appropriation costs were too high. However, the tactic did result in THAI gaining landing rights for two flights daily.

According to Airlineroute’s timetable information, Thai Airways will end its TG281 service that departs Bangkok at 0745 and TG 287 that departs Bangkok at 1530 on 2 September.

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BMW eyes bright future for electric cars in Thailand

The Thaiger & The Nation

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That growth makes Thailand number three in the world in terms of market acceptance of PHEVs, according to Krisda Utamote, BMW Group Thailand’s director of corporate communications.

Christian Wiedmann, president of BMW Thailand, says the German carmaker would continue churning out new electric vehicle models due to confidence in its global market expansion, with Thailand included.

“In Thailand, BMW is expanding the market for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) over the past three years. Sales have increased 44 per cent per year,” Wiedmann said recently at the BMW head office in Munich.

Wiedmann told Thai media the focus for BMW Thailand would now be on selling PHEVs, which had seen a rapid market growth worldwide. At this point, BMW will not import battery electric vehicles [BEVs] for sale in Thailand as it is still trying to determine the local demand and consumer response to fully electric cars, said Wiedmann.

Unlike PHEVs, that also can run on petrol, BEVs are powered entirely by electricity and have no engine or fuel tank. Wiedmann said that like their counterparts elsewhere in the world, Thai motorists have concerns regarding fully electric cars.

“We will see if there is a market for BEVs in Thailand,” he added.

Christian Wiedmann, president of BMW Group Thailand. PHOTO: PTT/Kampon Termkijanan

Many motorists are worried that they may run out of power while driving a fully electric car for a long distance. Charging stations are not yet widely available like petrol stations, particularly in the provinces or rural areas. However, thanks to improved battery technology, newer models of BEVs can run a longer distance for each charge, up to 250-300 kilometres for the BMW i3, which has a “range extender” to generate more power to the battery.

The compact i3 model is popular in Europe and the US. But BMW has no plans to officially market it in Thailand anytime soon, according to Krisda. He added that certain Thai agencies imported i3 cars mainly for research purposes.

Fully electric cars are more suited to smaller countries in Europe, while motorists in countries with larger areas and longer distances like the US may prefer plug-in hybrid vehicles, said a BMW expert who asked not to be named.

BMW offers charging services for EVs through its subsidiary ChargeNow, which has more than 100,000 charging stations the world over.

In Thailand, ChargeNow offers charging services to electric vehicles of all makes registered with its website, and not just BMW’s EVs, Krisda said. It plans to build 50 public charging stations at BMW dealerships and partnership locations by the end of this year.

Another partner in the charging services, GLT Green (Thailand) Co Ltd, which specialises in EV charging technology, has set up 73 charging outlets throughout Thailand and is adding another 47 outlets by mid-2018, according to the company’s business development manager Chayaphol Leeraphante. Altogether, GLT Green plans to set up as many as 160 charging outlets this year, he said.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Nation

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Property report tips Phuket property boom

The Thaiger & The Nation

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According to Knight Frank Thailand’s research, the Phuket condo market is expected to perform better in line with the brighter economic situation and the growing population of the island.

Increasing supply and higher selling prices will be the key drivers, while demand is forecast to improve slightly. The number of launches in Phuket is predicted to increase and Thai developers as well as joint venture developments will be key players in the market.

According to research, demand across the market will continue to be driven by international homebuyers, investors and expatriates, especially those from China, Russia and Australia.

“Besides, the expectation to see a larger portion of buyers from South Korea. Average asking prices per sqm are anticipated to rise in all areas, while increasing demand for luxury condominiums may see prices approaching a new high in 2018, especially properties by the sea,” the report from Knight Frank said.

It said one factor that is expected to significantly help boost the property market in Phuket is the Smart City project that aims to develop the province and to set the city up as a hub for the digital industry.

The project is due to be completed in 2020.

More about DEPA and the Smart City HERE.

Search for over 7,000 Phuket properties HERE.

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