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Reducing Digital Gap in Thailand

Image credits: mdes.go.th

Thailand’s Minister of Digital Economy and Society Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn attended the first Asia-Pacific Digital Ministerial Conference, which was organised by the Ministry of Science Information and Communication Technology (Ministry of Science and ICT) of the Republic of Korea. The conference’s objectives included addressing the challenges and strategies of digital transformation, lowering inequality, and enhancing regional digital cooperation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for member nations of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the policies and initiatives adopted by those nations to promote high-quality and affordable digital connectivity have also been discussed. These efforts aim to advance digital transformation into an inclusive and equitable digital society.

The government of Thailand was aware of the value of digital technology during the COVID-19 epidemic, according to Chaiwut, who also noted that the disease is a catalyst for driving global digital transformation. Thailand has established a digital development strategy for the economy and society after realising the significance the digital transformation.

Hence, as a foundation for the nation’s economy and society, the “Net Pracharat Project” was developed to close Thailand’s significant digital divide to move the country toward stability, prosperity, and sustainability.

The project has emphasised the significance of building a strong digital infrastructure as a foundation and a requirement for the development of other digital areas of the nation, including the creation of an expanding and sustainable digital economy in the Asia-Pacific.

In addition, Chaiwut also engaged in a bilateral discussion with Esa Sarapul, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology. They have discussed about a potential information technology partnership between the two countries that would involve an exchange of knowledge on interconnected digital technology and telecommunications information technology.

He stated that the use of technology for the daily operations of every organisation and government policies must upgrade to support and be ready for various digital transactions and for the betterment of the public service.

Thailand has proposed an APEC Digital Trade Transformation Work Programme and has been working with Japan and Singapore to conduct live system testing and proof of concept by exchanging trade documents.

Thailand has also set up a National Digital Trade Platform system to be a centre for sending international trade information, making Thailand more competitive and convenient for investors and other digital laws such as e-transactions, and e-meetings, among others to make Thailand ready for the Digital Trade Transformation era.

Moreover, one of the main engines of economic growth in Thailand is the nation’s digital economy. The “Thailand 4.0” strategy intends to make the country a regional centre for innovation and knowledge-based digital business in Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, OpenGov Asia conducted an exclusive interview with Dr Kasititorn Pooparadai, Senior Executive Vice President, Digital Economy Promotion Agency, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, Thailand.

According to Dr Kasititorn, Thailand has met its national aim in the Thailand Digital Economy and Society Development Plan, which is in line with Thailand’s 20-Year Strategy. Since 2018, they have been working on this plan to fully integrate digital technology into all aspects of business in Thailand.

She emphasised that the nation is very well prepared for the impending transformation that it will face soon and that to bolster the nation’s efforts through the Digital Economy Promotion Master Plan, they have been supporting the use of digital technology in a variety of sectors, beginning with agriculture, manufacturing, and services and progressing to communities in order to progress towards Thailand 4.0.

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