Government aims to make Thailand a leading global digital economy
The Thai government has recently announced plans which will seek to turn the country into one of the leading digital economies in the world within the next two decades.
The government has outlined a 20-year roadmap for the 2016 to 2036 years to develop Thailand’s digital economy ecosystem. The roadmap was approved by the cabinet in April.
The development is intended to boost the Thailand’s industrial and economic competitiveness and drive sustainable economic growth well into the forseeable future.
The government is urging companies to embrace digital technologies to transform and expand their existing businesses and create value for themselves and the society in general
The digital economy development process can be characterised by four phases: first, building the necessary foundations for a digital infrastructure; second, developing and nurturing creative businesses and facilities to drive productivity and increase innovation; third, enhancing digital transformation in companies both large and small; and, fourth, pushing towards an innovation-driven economy.
The government has scheduled the end of 2017 to complete the development of the first phase. This will include the construction of a national broadband and fibre-optic telecom network nationwide. While there is still some way to go, by comparison with many other countries, especially those in the Southeast Asian region, Thailand is a lot further advanced on the digital highway than many of its competitors.
The second phase is scheduled to be completed by 2020, and will be developed in line with the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.
The third phase, to be completed by 2026, is expected to encourage the creation of new digital innovation-based services in the country. The tech startup industry is expected to be one of the main drivers boosting Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the next decade or more.
Finally, the government is hoping to direct Thailand into becoming an innovation-driven economy by 2036.
According to senior government officials, all state authorities have been given a clear policy to transform their operational structures in order to serve the greatest number of citizens through e-government platforms.
The e-government project is a significant indicator of the success of any implementation project for the digital economy.
The government is also pressing state agencies to lend as much support as legally allowable to the private sector when it needs information on public services.
The government recognises the need to have greater collaboration among the public and private sectors as well as within academia to help boost the country’s competitiveness.