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Thailand’s Strategy for a Future-Proof Economy

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Thailand has been making significant progress in its digital economy, with the government introducing several policies (Thailand 4.0) and initiatives to promote its development. The country published a 20-year Thailand Digital Economy and Society Development Plan (Digital Thailand Plan) in 2016, which aims to achieve complete digital transformation by 2027 and position Thailand as one of the global leaders in the digital economy by 2037.

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The country has experienced rapid growth in digital infrastructure and accessibility, particularly in the financial services sector, with foreign investment in digital services such as e-commerce, fintech, e-health, and online education surging. In 2021, Thailand’s e-commerce market was valued at US$170 billion in gross merchandise value and is projected to reach US$360 billion by 2025 and US$1 trillion by 2030. Henceforth, Thailand’s digital economy is expected to contribute at least 25% to its GDP.

In light of this, Dr Phonpan Tannukit, Director of the Digital Policy Development Centre for Economy and Society, inaugurated various initiatives, including training with other stakeholders. The training brought together experts to discuss and outline strategies for bolstering the country’s digital economy and society.

The training provided a platform to summarise the outcomes of preparations for digital development indicators. Dr Ratchada Jiasakul, partner and director of a public policy and strategic consulting firm in Thailand, presented findings on the current status of digital development in the country. She explained that the results will serve as guidelines for future development initiatives.

The establishment of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, by the Act on Improving Ministries, Bureaus, and Departments (No. 17) 2016, underscores the recognition of the digital economy and society as a pivotal sector for the nation’s growth. Complemented by the Digital Development for Economy and Society Act 2017, these initiatives have set the stage for driving digital development in Thailand.

The National Digital Economy and Society Commission’s mission to survey, collect data, and analyse digital economic and social issues was pivotal in organising the training. The government agency and a public policy consulting firm collaborated to establish a monitoring mechanism and analyse the digital development landscape for the country’s economy and society.

The training’s objectives were multi-faceted:

  1. Suggest guidelines for setting up mechanisms to systematically track, store, and analyse basic data, supporting policymaking and implementing digital development initiatives.
  2. Collect primary data on digital development to support strategic planning and monitor the operations of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee.
  3. Prepare basic information on digital development in the form of datasets that can be integrated into the intelligent data centre system, eventually becoming open data for government agencies, the private sector, and the public.

The training marked the culmination of eight meetings summarising the results of indicator preparation. Seven subgroup meetings, aligned with the digital development plan for the economy and society, delved into sectoral aspects, including digital infrastructure, Digital Government, Digital Economy, digital society, digital workforce, and digital confidence.

During this eighth meeting, the focus was on showcasing the results of creating baseline data, a crucial step in elevating digital development for the economy and society. Discussions also revolved around guidelines for cooperation in storing and disseminating baseline data, emphasising the practical utilisation of this data in driving Thailand’s digital future.

As Thailand positions itself at the forefront of digital transformation, workshops like these play a crucial role in shaping a comprehensive strategy. The collaboration between government bodies and private entities demonstrates a commitment to fostering a robust digital ecosystem, ensuring that the benefits of digital development reach all sectors of society. The outcomes of this training are poised to serve as a blueprint for Thailand’s journey toward a digitally empowered future.


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