The US News & World Report’s study called “Best Countries” was compiled in collaboration with BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. It sampled the perceptions of more than 16,000 people in four global regions, asking them to rank 60 pre-selected countries on a range of criteria. It then compiled a list of rankings in each category, and one overall ranking.
Six Asean members featured in the study, with only Singapore finishing ahead of Thailand, in 15th place overall.
Malaysia was ranked 28th, followed by Vietnam (32), the Philippines (33) and Indonesia (42).
Looking at the report itself, Thailand, as you would expect, scored highly in categories such as “adventure” (#4) – it’s deemed to be fun, friendly and scenic – and “heritage” (#8) for its food and cultural attractions.
But it also scored very highly in the “movers” category (#4), which focuses on the potential for economic growth in terms of per capita purchasing power. Here, the country was judged to be highly “unique,” “distinctive” and “different”.
The country also ranked highly (#10) in being “open for business”, mainly because of cheap manufacturing costs.
In terms of power and influence, however, Thailand was ranked relatively lowly, only 43rd overall. It was similarly weak in entrepreneurship at 31.
The best country in the world overall was judged to be Germany, followed by Canada.