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Thailand’s ambitious digital goals will invigorate economy

Thailand’s plan to transform into a digital hub is outlined in its Thailand 4.0 policy.

It is an effort that the government is making to not only gain technological capabilities to support residents but also involves a series of programs to help companies in the country accelerate their journey to digital.

As a result, the country has begun to gain attention from commercial giants across the world who are looking for big-ticket investments opportunities.

Companies specializing in innovative and advanced technologies such as complex medical devices, electric vehicles, artificial intelligence, biosciences, and aerospace are keen to start up new operations in Thailand, according to experts.

In fact, Thailand predicts that more than 475,000 jobs will be created as a result of the Thailand 4.0 policy.

One of the sectors which the government is working to push forward is smart farming. Authorities argue that smart farming will be a value-based product of training, skills development, and knowledge, bringing prosperity to 20,000 households in the next 5 years.

The government is keen to invest in technology-based programs as they believe it will improve the overall well-being of the Thai people and drive the nation forward.

To ensure success, Thailand is creating a compelling proposition to invite innovative brands into the country by offering attractive tax incentives for foreign investors.

For example, 13 years of tax breaks and 4 years of renewable smart visas for investors and global talent are becoming easier to obtain for qualified companies and professionals.

Through its efforts, the country is positioning itself as Asia’s next digital hub.

Efforts to increase expenditure on research and development, according to Thai officials, will expand the country’s economic growth rate in the next 5 years, as well as significantly help increase per capita income.

Thailand’s strategic location is expected to help the country in its aspirations to get more traction as a digital hub, especially when competing with peers in the region, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Thailand’s young ‘Smart Farmers’

The government, through Thailand 4.0, hopes to both transform itself into a developed nation and also income disparities by lifting living standards in rural areas.

One such initiative is in the use of the digital economy to create 20,000 “smart farmers”.

To move into the “Value-Based Economy” era, traditional industrial practices must be revolutionised. Technology, creativity, and innovation are the best guidelines leading to “agricultural commodities” and “innovative-based supplies,” in which farmers are enhanced as the authorised owners of their own high quality and profitable products, an earlier report noted.

The most inspiring and motivating programme, Young Smart Farmer (YSF), is aimed at digitally transforming Thailand’s agricultural industry. The initiative, powered by the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE), aims to produce new agricultural ‘young blood’ to achieve maximum agricultural capability.

This will be done by leveraging technology to improve yields, as well as other commercial aspects, including production capacity, management, and farm marketing.

Most importantly, these skilled YSFs are destined to become the leaders in their hometowns, and influential figures will cooperate with all levels of agronomic networks to replace over 50 per cent of retired farmers.

The Director-General of the DOAE stated that as the country moves through the disruptive era, digital technology has become vital to make positive changes as well as presenting challenging opportunities for many products to move on and up.

Agricultural produce is a commodity area that relies heavily mainly on natural resources; digital technology can minimise negative effects on yields. Moreover, digital cultivation improves quality and provides ways to increase profits.

With a growing competitive trend in international agronomic trading, the prospective Young Smart Farmers are provided with various supports from major government agencies to reach the goal of replacing ageing farmers.

The recent collaboration between DOAE and the Office of the Permanent Secretary of Defence has introduced discharged soldiers to the Young Smart Farmer programme for future career enhancement and this year it will be implemented in the area of 10 military units nationwide.

The Young Smart Farmer initiative is a promising and challenging programme that will enable the youth to discover new opportunities and initiate changes in their communities and local networks with confidence.

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