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Thailand Igniting Digital Technology Deployment

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Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES), underscored the government’s unwavering commitment to advancing the nation’s digital ecosystem. He emphasised the critical need for investments in digital infrastructure, including developing digital wallets, the establishment of a National Blockchain, and transforming into a fully digital government. These initiatives aim to ensure citizens have seamless access to various government services, fostering greater engagement with the public sector.

One of the immediate priorities is implementing the “Go Cloud First” strategy, which outlines a comprehensive framework for expanding cloud infrastructure catering to both public and private sectors. A key focus is creating standardised Public and Private Cloud platforms to enhance government data management, positioning the country as a central regional hub in this crucial domain.

Regarding Digital ID, a well-defined framework is bolstered by recent legislation that ensures robust standards. The nation now boasts two pivotal digital identity services: ThaiD and the National Digital ID (NDID). These services enable the verification of user identities in the digital realm, facilitating various online transactions.

With over 10 million users and ongoing efforts to expand its use cases, this framework streamlines interactions and operations within the government system, fostering greater trust and reliability in digital transactions and trade.

In the realm of smart cities, there is a growing emphasis on harnessing the potential of Big Data for urban development. This involves integrating city data across various layers and the subsequent collection and analysis of this data through the City Data Platform (CDP), a pivotal method for transforming cities into smart cities.

Mr Prasert highlighted key initiatives of DES led in collaboration with other ministries, namely the Ministry of Public Health, creating a national public health cloud, connecting medical histories for seamless access to healthcare services nationwide.

The DES is also engaged in the travel and tourism project with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, uniting public and private sectors to boost the nation’s economy by consolidating travel-related information.

Efforts are underway for Digital Government implementation through an integration master plan. This plan involves creating an application that unifies government platforms using Blockchain for secure data storage, promoting data sharing among agencies.

Government data is pivotal in enhancing national competitiveness in the broader Data Economy context. Open Data initiatives align with global trends, opening government data for business and citizen use, focusing on data accounting and exchange systems meeting international standards.

The DES has established the Big Data Institute to formulate strategies for leveraging big data’s potential for economic and social progress. Balancing data utilisation with citizens’ personal data protection rights is essential, urging government and private sectors to align with international standards.

Meanwhile, the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) has also taken initiatives that include fostering IoT utilisation in key sectors such as agriculture and industry, particularly in Smart City development. This approach aims to create opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups capable of contributing to sustainable urban development through innovative technologies like IoT. Examples of these efforts include data integration with truck queuing services at Laem Chabang Port, enhancing municipal activities in Yala through camera and IoT technologies for complaint management, and addressing tax collection and waste management challenges in Phuket City through NB-IoT infrastructure.

DES is committed to providing Thai startups opportunities to contribute to the country’s technological advancement and promoting collaboration between the government and businesses. Facilitating trade and business operations, advancing technology adoption in cities, and nurturing the digital economy ecosystem are crucial steps to bridge gaps and promote development. Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) and Matching Fund initiatives are among the approaches to achieve these goals.

Regarding IoT systems, Lorawan and NB-IoT technologies are preferred for their energy efficiency and reliability compared to 5G. Digital literacy is a priority, with DES implementing training programmes across the government and public sectors to ensure widespread access to basic technology knowledge. Promoting Digital Wallet usage incentivises individuals to learn about emerging technologies like Blockchain, with a focus on transparency and efficient financial distribution.

Through a One Stop Service approach, the government is also committed to enhancing transparency in procurement processes and payments through digital technology, advancing the government’s journey towards becoming a Digital Government.

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