February 28, 2024

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Thai 4.0: A Blueprint for Digital Transformation

Thailand is actively pursuing a digital transformation to enhance its digital economy and become a prominent player in the global digital landscape. The country has set targets, such as increasing its digital economy to 50% by 2030. This transformation is encapsulated in policies like “Thai 4.0” and “A National Digital Blueprint,” which focus on digital industrial-scale transformation and the development of the digital economy. Key initiatives include expanding the use of Digital ID, promoting e-government solutions and building high-capacity digital infrastructure.

Image credits: mdes.go.th

Although Thailand has advanced considerably in its digital evolution, obstacles such as insufficient private investment, inadequate digital infrastructure in specific regions, and the necessity to enhance ICT competencies persist. Nevertheless, Thailand’s endeavours in digital transformation underscore a committed dedication to utilising digital technology for economic prosperity and societal progression.

On this second month of the year, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society, spearheaded the Thai delegation alongside Special Professor Wisit Wisitsaratha, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, at the 4th ASEAN Digital Ministerial Meeting (ADGMIN) held in Singapore.

Under the theme “Building an Inclusive and Trusted Digital Ecosystem,” ministers from 10 ASEAN member countries convened to address pivotal issues in the digital landscape, fostering collaboration and digital transformation.

In highlighting Thailand’s commitment to digital advancement, Mr Prasert outlined the “The Growth Engine of Thailand” policy to propel the nation towards a robust digital economy and a secure digital society. The policy delineates three key areas of focus:

Enhancing Competitive Potential: Thailand aims to bolster its competitive edge by prioritising the development of digital infrastructure, facilitating digital government services, and advocating for adopting cloud technology in the public sector to ensure heightened security standards.

Ensuring Digital Safety and Security: Efforts are underway to accelerate the deployment of cybersecurity tools to combat online threats and cybercrimes. Public awareness campaigns will play a crucial role in mitigating risks associated with digital platforms.

Fostering Digital Literacy: Embracing the ethos of “Digital for All,” Thailand seeks to nurture digital skills and competencies among its populace, ensuring inclusivity and equitable participation in the digital economy.

Acknowledging the burgeoning significance of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Mr Prasert emphasised the need for comprehensive guidelines governing its ethical and regulatory framework. Thailand has taken measures by instituting the Thailand AI Ethics Guideline to ensure the responsible and effective utilisation of AI within its borders.

Moreover, Mr Prasert underscored the imperative of addressing online threats, citing them as grave national security concerns and transnational crimes. Thailand proposed the establishment of the ASEAN Working Group on Anti-Online Scam (WG-AS) to foster regional collaboration in combating online fraud—a pervasive global issue. Additionally, the formation of the AOC 1441 Centre signifies Thailand’s commitment to tackling online crime and minimising its impact on citizens.

In his closing remarks, Mr Prasert reiterated the importance of ASEAN unity in confronting digital challenges head-on. He emphasised the urgency of concerted efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of online threats on the ASEAN populace, underscoring the imperative for collective action.

Despite that, Thailand has taken several measures to confront cyberattacks in previous strides. The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DE) has demonstrated commitment and steadfast dedication to eradicating cyberattacks. Based on the OpenGov Asia report, the DE Ministry has consistently been at the forefront of the battle against cyber threats through strategic initiatives, comprehensive policies, and cutting-edge technological advancements.

Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, Thailand’s Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DE), unveiled the commendable results of the Anti Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC) 1441. Operating between November 1 and December 2023, AOC 1441 successfully handled 183,016 citizen contacts, frozen 20,204 accounts, and apprehended more than 400 criminals. Notably, the average time to freeze an account plummeted to 9 minutes in December, showcasing the centre’s efficiency.

The Anti Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC) is a one-stop service centre that offers knowledge, advice, and assistance to the public regarding cybercrime and online scamming. The centre is a collaboration between various government agencies, including the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Anti-Money Laundering Office, the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau, the Bank of Thailand, the Thai Bankers Association, the Department of Special Investigation, and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission.

The ADGMIN demonstrates Thailand’s dedication to utilising digital technology for the mutual advantage of ASEAN nations. Through collaboration and strategic measures, efforts are made to cultivate an all-encompassing, safe, and adaptable digital environment, driving sustainable digital progress throughout Thailand and the region.

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