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THAILAND ADVANCED one rung to 27th in a Swiss business school's world competitiveness ranking this year after busting obstacles to doing business with a legal amendment and launching the investor-friendly Eastern Economic Corridor scheme.

Tevin Vongvanich, chairman of the TMA Centre for Competitiveness, said Thailand improved its standing for the second straight year and scored over 80 overall for the first time.

Among its Asean peers, Thailand came in third place according to the International Institute for Management Development's (IMD)'s World Competitiveness Centre.

Of 63 economies surveyed, Hong Kong still managed to capture the crown this year, trailed by Switzerland just like last year.Singapore moved up to third, while the United States fell to fourth.

Thailand scored 80.095 points this year, up from 74.681 a year earlier, as the country made notable progress on solving problems,reflecting the results of the collaboration of the public and private sectors in upgrading the nation's competitiveness.

On the Asean front, Singapore came first with a score of 85, followed by Malaysia's 83 and then Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Among the four pillars that the IMD assessed for its annual ranking,Thailand was highest at 10th in economic performance, up from last year's 13th.

The country jumped three places to 20th in government efficiency,while sitting at 25th in business efficiency and 49th in infrastructure.

Pattama Teanravisitsagool,deputy secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, said economic performance and government efficiency climbed three places,reflecting signs of the nation's enhanced economic conditions and regulatory improvement as well as greater convenience for business operations.

Businesspeople gained confidence in public services accommodating the private sector's doing business, and in the government's administration of its policies, she said.

Regarding Thailand's economic performance, three components showed further development.

The domestic economy revved to 33rd from 37th, while international trade surged three places to third and prices jumped to 28th from 45th. Employment remained at third.

The country's government efficiency improved for the third year,with its business legislation leapfrogging by six places to 38th and institution framework skipping three to 30th.

Its tax policy also increased to fourth.

Given Thailand's business efficiency, its management practice shot up six places to 20th and productivity and efficiency by two places to 41st.

The nation's technological infrastructure swelled six places and basic infrastructure one place.

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