Thailand, situated at the heart of Southeast Asia, stands out with its diverse economy, driven by robust industries like tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing. With extensive infrastructure and well-established logistics networks, Thailand serves as a strategic gateway for businesses seeking access to both regional and global markets.

Expatriates are drawn to Thailand’s vibrant lifestyle, characterized by its affordable living costs, exceptional healthcare services, and warm, welcoming communities. Moreover, Thailand’s thriving tourism sector, attracting millions of visitors each year to its picturesque landscapes and cultural treasures, not only fuels economic prosperity but also enhances its global allure as a premier destination for leisure and investment.

Let’s take a closer look at what leading rankings say about:

  • Thailand’s soft power and country brand strength
  • Its appeal to skilled labour, investors and visitors
  • The country’s global contribution to peace and well-being
  • How well it fares in terms of happiness and sustainability

Thailand soft power and country brand strength

How does Thailand compare in terms of reputation and brand value globally? 

In the Global Soft Power Index 2024 by Brand Finance, Thailand secures the 40th position, above Mexico (41st) and Monaco (42nd). Thailand’s score has grown by +2.40, and the position improved by one position from last year’s index.

In the U.S. News Best Countries 2023 ranking, Thailand secures 29th position behind Brazil (28th) and Greece (27th). Notably, Thailand excels in four key areas: Adventure (5th), Movers (8th), Open for Business (9th), and Heritage (9th).

Talent attraction and competitiveness in Thailand

How well is Thailand performing in attracting and retaining talent?

The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index 2019 edition placed Thailand at 40th position among 141 countries. However, it’s important to note that an updated version of this report hasn’t been released in the past five years, and rankings may have shifted since then.

Thailand, classified as an upper-middle income country within the Eastern, Southeastern Asia and Oceania regional group, currently holds the 79th overall position and 11th regional position in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2023. Thailand ranks below 60 in all pillars; however, the best one is the GROW pillar (61st), while the ATTRACT pillar presents Thailand’s biggest challenge, where it ranked 92nd.

In terms of education excellence, Thailand does not have any universities within the top 100 worldwide, according to the World University Rankings 2024. However, the Chulalongkorn University ranked 17th in Impact Rankings 2023.

Is Thailand a ‘Good’ country?

What is Thailand’s contribution to global well-being?

In the Caf World Giving Index 2023, Thailand ranked 38th, trailing behind Honduras (37th) and Uzbekistan (36th). Notably, Thailand performs admirably in the subfactor of donated money, with 63% of the adult population partaking in such activity. Thailand significantly dropped from 12th position in the Caf World Giving Index 2022.

In the Good Country Index, Thailand currently holds the 56th overall position, climbing from the 63rd in 2022. Thailand was admirably ranked 13th in International Peace & Security and 27th in World Order in last year’s ranking.

Thailand also ranks 104th in Science & Technology, 56th in Culture, 116th in Planet & Climate, 106th in Prosperity & Equality, and 78th in Healthy & Wellbeing. The most significant improvement experienced was International Peace & Security, climbing from 90th place in 2022.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2023, Thailand ranked in the light blue (6-7 range) with a 6.70 out of 10. This is a significantly better score than neighbouring Laos (1.8), Cambodia (3.2) and Myanmar (0.70) and slightly behind Malaysia (7.3).

The 2022 Corruption Perception Index ranks Thailand 101st, tying with many countries such as Albania, Kazakhstan, Serbia, and Türkiye.

The Sustainable Development Report 2023 ranks Thailand 43rd. The Report highlights that Thailand still faces significant challenges in certain SDGs (SDG 2 zero hunger; SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being; SDG 14 Life below Water; SDG 15 Life on Land; SDG 16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions) and some SDG’s are experiencing downward trend (SDG 15 Life on Land). The only SDG that has been achieved is SDG 1: No Poverty.

Thailand’s appeal to digital nomads, business, trade and travel 

What is the global perception of Thailand as a destination for living, conducting business, and tourism?

The Expat Insider 2023 ranks Thailand in the TOP 10 countries for expats (6th position). Behind Taiwan (5th) and Malaysia (4th).

The country performs well in categories such as Healthcare (9th), Local Friendliness (8th), Culture and Welcome (12th), Finding Friends (12th), and Personal Finance (4th). However, the country has many categories to be improved, such as Environment and Climate (48th), Safety and Security (45th), and Work Culture and Satisfaction (46th). This index shows Thailand is a welcoming and budget-friendly country to move into. However, the work culture and safety of the country need serious improvement.

The Bloom Consulting biannual Country Brand Ranking Trade Edition 2022-2023 assesses investment-related variables, emphasising perceptions of a country’s trade-specific brand and evaluating branding performance. Regionally, Thailand ranks 10th, surpassing Vietnam (11th). Worldwide, Thailand ranks 30th.

In addition, the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking Tourism Edition 2022-2023 places Thailand in 3rd position in the Asia Region, dropping by one position since last year’s ranking. Thailand ranks behind Hong Kong (2nd) and Japan (1st). Worldwide, Thailand ranks in the 10th place, behind France (9th) and surpassing Türkiye (11th).

In the IMD 2023 World Competitiveness Ranking, Thailand secured the 30th position, climbing by three positions since 2022. Currently, it sits just behind the United Kingdom (29th) and South Korea (28th) while surpassing New Zealand (31st) and Lithuania (32nd).

Regarding specific characteristics, Thailand ranked 16th in economic performance in 2023, improving from 34th in 2022. Government efficiency ranked 24th and experienced an improvement from 31st position in 2022. Thailand also slightly improved its position for business efficiency from 30th in 2022 to 23rd in 2023. Infrastructure in the country ranked 43rd in 2023, with a slight improvement of one position in 2022.

How peaceful is Thailand?

Is Thailand a peaceful and safe place to be in?

The Global Peace Index 2023 ranks Thailand 92nd, climbing by 13 positions since last year’s index. Thailand now sits ahead of Gabon (93rd) and Georgia (94th). Thailand falls in the medium of the ‘State of Peace’ spectrum as defined by the Institute for Economics & Peace. Thailand is positioned 15th regionally amongst its fellow Asia-Pacific, led by New Zealand (1st) and Singapore (2nd).

The Institute for Economics & Peace ranks Thailand within the medium zone regarding the ‘Impact of Terrorism’ in the 2024 Global Terrorism Index. Thailand ranks 28th, behind Uganda (27th) and ahead of Türkiye (29th) and USA (30th).

Meanwhile, the World Happiness Report 2024, which displays the Ranking of Happiness based on a three-year-average 2021–2023, ranks Thailand 58th, behind Paraguay (57th) and ahead of Malaysia (59th). Thailand climbed by two positions in 2023. Thailand also ranked 45th for happiness amongst youth (age below 30) and 41st for happiness amongst the old (age 60 and above).

Thailand’s environmental performance

How does Thailand perform in rankings measuring environmental sustainability?

The 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) edition ranks Thailand 108th. The EPI analyses the performance of 180 countries, scoring and ranking these countries on their environmental performance using the most recent year of data available, as well as providing calculable changes in scores over the previous decade. Thailand has experienced a change in score of positive 5.80 in the past ten years.

Last updated in June 2024. More country profiles here.

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