Thailand remained 43rd out of 63 economies in the talent competitiveness ranking by the Institute for Management Development (IMD), pressured by a decline in public expenditure on education and labour force growth.
The pandemic weakened countries that base their overall competitiveness on the talent economy as a large part of this is attracting talent from abroad, said the IMD.
Among this group are Singapore, Australia, the US and the UK, which have a long history of welcoming foreign students.
“Talent across borders will play a key factor in the post-Covid economic recovery,” said Christos Cabolis, chief economist at the IMD World Competitiveness Center (WCC).
“These countries cannot be sure to lure the best workers for the time being, and may well look into other ways to be competitive.”
There is a risk they will decide to turn inwards in their efforts to revitalise their economies, backtracking on their openness, which will do nothing to attract foreign talent nor retain local talent, he said.
The IMD arranges the rankings by taking into account three major factors.
The first is investment and development, which measures the resources earmarked to cultivate a homegrown workforce.
The second is the appeal factor, which evaluates ways in which an economy attracts foreign and retains local talent.
The third is the readiness factor, which looks at the quality of skills and competencies among talent.
Out of 63 economies, Thailand ranked 43rd in 2020, the same position it held in 2019, said Mr Cabolis said.
Thailand fell two positions to 51st in the investment and development, and dropped two spots to 45th for readiness.
The country managed to climb two spots to 28th in the appeal factor.
In terms of investment and development, Thailand saw a decline in public spending on education and the pupil-teacher ratio, he said.
Based on the readiness factor, the country saw a drop in labour force growth, ranking 55th in this sub-factor, close to the end of the overall ranking.
For the appeal factor, Thailand ranked fifth for the effective personal income tax rate sub-factor and 16th in business environment attracting highly skilled foreign personnel.
Switzerland and Denmark retained first and second spots in the ranking. Luxembourg, Iceland and Sweden landed third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
All have excellent education systems for their home-grown talent, said IMD.
Brexit’s impact on the UK’s talent competitiveness appears to be reflected in figures, the IMD said.
In 2016, the year of the Brexit vote, the UK was in 16th position in the same ranking. This year’s 23rd position is a likely reflection that uncertainties around Brexit have been chipping away at the UK’s talent competitiveness.
Source: bangkok post