Thailand is rolling out a digitally-fueled effort to enhance its economy and boost competitiveness.
H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand, gives opening remarks for The Digital Thailand Big Bang (DTBB) exhibition, at the IMPACT Convention Center in Muang Thong Thani, 21st September 2017.
The current aim for the nation is to become Southeast Asia’s leader for all things digital. And the Kingdom’s Ministry for Digital Economy and Society is striving to make this happen through its Thailand 4.0 plan. Thailand 4.0 includes national investments in digital infrastructure, regulatory changes to support innovation and building networks of innovators within Thailand and across borders.
The desired result is for Thailand to become the go-to destination for entrepreneurs from the world’s innovation hubs to target Southeast Asia’s highly populated, fast-growing economies. Thailand is seeking to generate 25 percent of GDP through the digital technology industry by 2027.
“Our goal is to demonstrate that Thailand is the best place in ASEAN for digital innovators to invest, build businesses and to grow in Southeast Asia,” said Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society Minister. “Thailand has the creative talent, the entrepreneurial spirit – and with the full backing of the government, has the right ecosystem in pace to foster success. Our message to digital innovators around the world is to make Thailand your home base in Southeast Asia. This will be good for both innovators and for people in Thailand.”
The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society’s actions are already being felt in Thailand.
Thai villages will soon benefit from these plans as the government has approved a national broadband roll-out for nearly 75,000 Thai communities nationwide. Beyond the immediate goal of giving everyone in Thailand access to high-speed internet, the secondary aim is to connect all schools, hospitals, and municipalities. All of this is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018. Once the roll-out is complete, the government is planning to provide a variety of e-services, including e-commerce for rural communities, e-health, e-education, and an e-agriculture platform to help farmers better leverage the power of the Internet.
Thailand is also in the process of building a project known as Digital Park, which will span nearly 280 acres in Chonburi province and will be a hub for a variety of start-ups, the IoT industry as well as the base for Thailand’s smart city initiatives.
Moreover, the government has already begun to enhance connections with digital leaders across borders and has fast tracked an ease of doing business initiative with regulatory adjustments to optimize the environment for venture capitalists who specialize in digital innovation.
This week, the country is also hosting Southeast Asia’s largest digital and technological exhibition, Digital Thailand Big Bang (DTBB) 2017, for all aspects of digital where the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society will officially form partnerships with the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the General Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) in developing and accessing investment for Thai digital start-ups and building cybersecurity.
The Digital Thailand Big Bang (DTBB) exhibition is taking place at the IMPACT Convention Center in Muang Thong Thani, September 21-24 2017. Start-up founders, venture capitalists and executives from many of the world’s leading digital technology companies will be in attendance. Start-ups from across Asia, Africa, Europe, the US and, of course, Thailand will vie for prizes and funding. In addition, companies developing AI, robotics, drone technology will demonstrate products and seek to build commercial relationships.
It is all part of the plan set forth by the Thai government to transform Thailand’s economy from one based on manufacturing to one based on digital technology. This plan has firm backing from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in an effort to catch the attention of investors, innovators and a population of numerous digitally-savvy consumers. In addition to heavy social media usage, Thailand is currently the third largest e-commerce market in the region, valued at US$900 million and is expected to increase its ecommerce business 12-fold to a value of US$11.1 billion by 2025.
The Thai government is also seeking to enhance its own digital credentials and aims to be in the Top 50 of the United Nations e-Government rankings. Thailand is also rolling out a smart city plan, with initiatives set for Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen.
Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj says that the digitization investments that Thailand is making today will pay off for the society in the years ahead.
“Thailand has the creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit to be a digital hub in Southeast Asia, particularly for businesses that require high levels of creative inputs,” said Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj. “Thai private enterprises have also performed well in becoming a regional center, and in setting up successful businesses across the diverse markets in ASEAN. This is another strength we offer for digital companies with Southeast Asia in their sites.”
For more information on DTBB 2017 and its program, please visit www.digitalthailandbigbang.com.
About Digital Thailand Big Bang 2017
Digital Thailand Big Bang 2017 is the largest digital summit in South East Asia, hosted by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) under the authority of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand. The summit, hosted under theme of “Digital Transformation Thailand” and with an event space of 40,000 square meters, features exhibitions, meetings and seminars and competition. The exhibition area is divided to four zones including Digital Startups, Digital Services, Digital Entrepreneurs, and Global Network.
The summit is organized between 21st – 24th September 2017 from 09:00-20:00 hrs. daily at Challenger 1-2, IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, Thailand.