The UK and Thailand have jointly launched the “UK Thailand Tech Export Academy”. The purpose of the collaboration is to promote the development of “smart cities” to be constructed across Thailand. So far, the initiative has involved the matching of over 200 businesses from the UK and Thailand.
The UK’s Minister for Exports co-launched the academy in the form of a virtual trade mission, alongside Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Thailand’s Minister of Digital Economy and Society (MDES).
The Tech Academy initiative was kick-started in 2020, the UK’s International Trade Secretary, as part of a British government strategy to support UK businesses emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. From over 100 commercial enterprises that applied for the 9-month program, a total of 30 were picked to become involved in the trade mission to Thailand.
Smart City Handbook and other initiatives
The virtual trade mission constitutes one component of the two countries’ smart cities cooperation in line with the initial launch of the UK-Thailand Smart City Handbook, established in partnership with Thailand’s Digital Economy and Promotion Agency (DEPA).
Other activities the UK has been working on including ongoing projects under the UK’s Global Future Cities program. This involves working with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to create an improved flood management system for Lat Phrao, being one of the city’s 50 districts.
A data centre is also being planned to support the collection and use of data for decision-making in Bangkok, in addition to the creation of a development masterplan for the Khlong Bang Luang region and Bang Wa BTS Station.
The Digital Trade Network was also introduced last year as a three-year pilot program to enhance the UK’s digital tech capabilities in supporting digital trade and investment opportunities in Thailand.
The UK Ambassador to Thailand stated, “I hope the launch of the Smart City Handbook and the on-ground expertise as part of the Digital Trade Network will provide the foundations for future cooperation, sharing of experience and expertise between the UK and Thailand in areas of smart city development.”
The Ambassador also introduced the UK Prosperity Fund as a resource of the UK Government to support global sustainable development in developing middle-income countries – with the Global Future Cities Program being a leading part of this support and commitment.
Bangkok’s governor also shared his vision for urban development including the improvement of canal landscapes such as Prem Prachakorn Canal, Saen Saeb Canal, and Ong Ang Canal, which are all now in active development.
He said, “Bangkok is focused on connecting the network of wheel (private vehicles and public services), rail and boat transportation,” he announced. “It is a great opportunity that Bangkok was selected to be one of the 19 cities that are collaborating with the UK Prosperity Fund. We greatly appreciate all the help and cooperation from the UK government and the British Embassy in Thailand for the initiation of such projects.”
Trade and investment dialogue
The UK’s partnership with DEPA has continued more recently with a series of Smart City workshops involving the British Embassy in Bangkok hosting the local authorities in Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, and Chonburi to explore potential areas for smart city collaborations.
The UK and Thailand are also working to deepen and strengthen their trading relations across all sectors following the completion of a Joint Trade Review.
In March 2021, the UK and Thailand signed an MoU which commits both governments to further strengthening trade and investment ties through a new joint trade dialogue – the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).
It is anticipated that JETCO will facilitate new opportunities for the UK and Thailand to work cooperatively in improving bilateral trade, including by addressing market access barriers affecting businesses. The first meeting of the new UK Thailand JETCO will take place later this year.
For both countries, the initiatives deepen the trade linkages between the UK and Thailand. Over the last year, two-way trade has exceeded £5 billion (US$7 billion) which is likely to be further bolstered by the UK-Thailand Tech Export Academy’s trade mission which has reflected strong support from the UK’s £185 billion (US$260 billion) technology sector – currently the largest in Europe – in pushing advancing commercial and investment partnerships to build the smart cities of the future.
Organising Public Service Malls (MPP) in Indonesia represents an innovative approach to achieving more equitable and improved public services. Implementing MPP in Indonesia has significantly and positively impacted community public service performance. MPP integrates public services provided by ministries, agencies, provincial and municipal/regional governments, state-owned enterprises, regional-owned enterprises, and private entities, all in a unified location. This initiative aims to enhance the speed, convenience, accessibility, comfort, and security of services, ultimately contributing to global competitiveness and facilitating business operations in Indonesia.
The legal basis for establishing MPP is governed by the Regulation of the Minister of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform of the Republic of Indonesia Number 23 of 2017 regarding implementing Public Service Malls. This regulation is further strengthened by the Presidential Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia Number 89 of 2021 on implementing Public Service Malls.
To reinforce and expand the MPP initiative in Indonesia, 39 regions are prepared to offer integrated, convenient, and fast services through Digital MPP. The national count of Digital MPP locations has now increased to 60 pilot projects. It is hoped that these selected regions will uphold their commitment to leveraging Digital MPP in the future.
The assistant Deputy for Public Service Digital Transformation at the Ministry of PANRB, Yanuar Ahmad, emphasised the serious oversight of Digital MPP implementation across various regions by the Minister of PANRB. The directives given are particularly stringent, especially for inactive regions. “Failure to commit to utilising Digital MPP may result in reevaluating their status as Digital MPP locations,” he asserted.
The selection of regions as Digital MPP locations involves a process where 115 regional leaders have proposed the utilisation of Digital MPP to the Ministry of PANRB. The selection process includes an assessment of the readiness for Digital MPP implementation, focusing on regions that have already planned the establishment of MPP.
Yanuar explained that in November 2023, 115 regional leaders submitted requests to utilise Digital MPP. The evaluation process considered several reference variables, such as Digital Population Identity (IKD) and the Human Resources Information System for Health (SISDMK). Additionally, the readiness for physical MPP construction was taken into account. Subsequently, 39 districts and cities were designated as new Digital MPP locations.
The selected regions include Soppeng District, Pasuruan City, Bantaeng District, Sawahlunto City, Purworejo District, Morowali District, Wonogiri District, Pemalang District, Banjarbaru City, Hulu Sungai Utara District, Palopo City, Way Kanan District, Banjar City, Bangli District, Muaro Jambi District, Temanggung District, Penukal Abab Lematang Ilir District, Sabang City, Barito Utara District, Jombang District, and Kotawaringin Barat District.
Furthermore, there are Kapuas District, Cianjur District, Dharmasraya District, Hulu Sungai Tengah District, Tojo Una Una District, Lampung Timur District, Bintan District, Ponorogo District, Tegal City, Gowa District, Sukabumi City, Bangka Barat District, Pesisir Barat District, Tanggamus District, Morowali Utara District, Lampung Barat District, Banggai Laut District, and Jembrana District.
It is worth noting that the soft launch of the Digital MPP took place in June 2023 by Vice President KH Ma’ruf Amin, and it has been operational in 21 regions. During this event, Yanuar envisioned regions already implementing MPP could learn best practices and adopt new features of the Digital MPP platform.
“For regions that are not yet active, it is recommended to enhance and improve the performance of Digital MPP management promptly,” he added. The hybrid event also included a Digital MPP Technical Guidance. Siti Rafika Amalia Dina, the analyst for Public Complaints at the Ministry of PANRB, highlighted the significance of Digital MPP as an integrated digital service. Several key features of Digital MPP were outlined, including service application submission, service tracking, connection with service complaints, user service profiles, and notifications.
Integrating Digital MPP with Digital Population Identity (IKD) and the Human Resources Information System for Health (SISDMK) demonstrates a cohesive and efficient ecosystem. Additionally, the opportunity for regions without physical MPP to participate through Digital MPP reflects an inclusive and adaptable approach to public service solutions in the digital era.
Thailand is once again demonstrating its commitment to advancing its agricultural capabilities. The Minister of Digital Economy and Society’s support for farmers to embrace digital technology, particularly the utilisation of drones, reflects the nation’s serious dedication to accelerating and enhancing agricultural practices in Thailand.
Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, has conducted a field visit to witness the successful integration of drone technology in uplifting rural communities. The visit, conducted in collaboration with key figures such as Mr Phuchapong Nodthaisong, Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, marks a pivotal stride in the expansion of the “1 Tambon 1 Digital” project, also known as the “Drone Jai Community.”
The delegation, including Mr Teerawut Thongphak, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, Mr Somkiat Siriwathanachoke, a specialist in policy management, and Mr Somboon Mekpaiboonwattana, a specialist in information and communication technology management from the National Digital Economy and Society Commission (NCDC), visited the Community Enterprise of the Comprehensive Farmers Group in Ban Dong Na Kham, Nong Nang Subdistrict, Tha Bo District, Nong Khai Province.
During the visit, the Minister and his team engaged in a comprehensive discussion with representatives of community enterprises. They delved into the outcomes of the digital technology and innovation project aimed at elevating the community’s overall well-being. The discussion included exploring challenges, obstacles, and recommendations from farmer groups. Additionally, the delegation had the opportunity to observe community products and witness firsthand the application of drones for smart agriculture.
The project, spearheaded by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), is designed to foster the development of a robust digital ecosystem. By leveraging drone technology for agriculture, the initiative aims to establish 16 service centres dedicated to maintaining, spraying, and distributing agricultural drones in the northeastern region. It forms part of a larger nationwide plan that envisions 50 such centres across the country, benefiting 160 communities in the northeastern region actively utilising drones for agricultural purposes.
Using drone technology in agriculture has proven transformative, offering efficient solutions to traditional farming challenges. Drones with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities provide farmers real-time data on crop health, pest infestations, and overall field conditions. This invaluable information enables farmers to make data-driven decisions, optimise resource allocation, and maximise yields.
During the visit, the delegation attended a lecture detailing the project’s outcomes and the practical applications of digital technology and innovation in agriculture. The engagement with community stakeholders facilitated a deeper understanding of the impact of such initiatives on the ground.
In alignment with the government’s commitment to digital transformation, the “1 Tambon 1 Digital” project exemplifies a strategic approach to empower rural communities. Further, through drone technology, Thailand can address the ongoing challenges of climate change while enhancing its agricultural sector’s efficiency, productivity, and resilience. In this context, food security becomes crucial and must be addressed quickly. By integrating drone technology into agriculture, the initiative not only enhances productivity but also opens new avenues for economic growth and sustainable development.
As the Minister of Digital Economy and Society navigates the frontiers of digital innovation in agriculture, the field visit serves as a testament to the government’s dedication to leveraging technology for the betterment of society. The project’s expansion is poised to create a ripple effect, inspiring similar initiatives and fostering a culture of innovation that transcends geographical boundaries.
The journey towards a more digitally inclusive and technologically advanced agricultural landscape is underway, and the “Drone Jai Community” project stands at the forefront of this technological revolution, paving the way for a sustainable and tech-driven future in agriculture. These activities aim to raise awareness and stimulate the application of drone technology for agriculture, including drone flying and maintenance competitions.
The pursuit of smart city development in Vietnam has encountered numerous hurdles despite the dedicated efforts of technology businesses collaborating with localities in planning and implementation, as highlighted at the VN-Asia Smart City Summit 2023.
The two-day event, themed “Data Mining – Building a Smart and Sustainable City,” was a collaborative effort between Hanoi’s Department of Information and Communication and the Vietnam Software and Information Technology Services (VINASA).
Primary objectives revolved around introducing Hanoi’s ambitious digital transformation and smart city development plans by 2025, with a forward-looking vision for 2030. Furthermore, it aimed to garner insights from experts and businesses, fostering partnerships between local IT enterprises and their international counterparts.
With 2023 designated as the National Year of Digital Data, the focus was on creating models for secure data collection, connectivity, and utilisation to inform urban management strategies and decisions.
Insights and successful cooperation experiences from various cities like Jakarta, Huế, and Đà Nẵng, along with contributions from industry leaders and experts, were shared during the conference. The spectrum covered smart platforms, cloud technologies, 5G solutions, IoT products, AI applications in healthcare, and innovations in smart traffic and mobility.
Chairman of VINASA’s Founding Council, Trương Gia Bình, elaborated on the collaborative endeavours of major enterprises like Viettel and VNPT in establishing Intelligent Operations Centres (IOCs) across provinces and districts, along with initiatives by FPT to infuse urban planning with intelligence and AI.
These technology companies have been at the forefront, offering innovative solutions such as AI, IoT, and 3D Digital Maps to enhance the management of various departments, agencies, urban areas, and industrial parks nationwide.
However, the foremost challenge highlighted for smart city development lies in the ambiguous legal framework that does not favour public-private cooperation, particularly in investment, bidding processes, and IT service procurement. Additionally, inadequate emphasis on smart planning and fundamental infrastructure in urban areas further compounds these challenges.
Trương Gia Bình stressed the necessity for Hanoi to establish distinct mechanisms for attracting both local and international talent while spearheading comprehensive IT training initiatives encompassing hardware and software aspects.
Yudhistira Nugraha, Director of Jakarta Smart City, believes that the essence of smart cities transcends technology, underscoring the need to enhance happiness, quality of life, economic growth, and sustainability for citizens. He highlighted Jakarta’s implementation of Citizen Relation Management, an interactive platform fostering citizen-government communication and resolving civic issues efficiently.
Nguyễn Huy Dũng, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, reiterated that smart city development involves a holistic approach to address key urban issues like traffic, environment, energy, waste management, and security. He emphasized the integration of smart elements into urban planning and the inseparable link between local smart city development and the broader digital transformation process.
Chairman Trần Sỹ Thanh of the Hanoi People’s Committee envisions a sustainable smart city model prioritizing a high-quality living environment, administrative efficiency, and robust support for the digital economy. He emphasized the centrality of smart choices, solutions, and technology in shaping Hanoi’s sustainable development.
The summit served as a platform to deliberate on challenges, seek solutions, and redefine perspectives on smart city growth and sustainable development. The culminating smart city award announcement and honouring ceremony highlighted outstanding smart city development trends in Vietnam, underscoring the nation’s commitment to embracing innovation for a smarter future.
In a collaboration between the Ministry of Transport’s Transportation Research Institute and industry leaders, the Industrial Research Institute (ITRI) announced a pioneering initiative to create the nation’s first smart charging service system for electric buses.
The system, supported by big data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, adheres to the globally recognised Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), offering comprehensive energy management, smart charging services, and operations management solutions to passenger transport operators.
The innovative system streamlines the charging process, enabling full automation and round-the-clock charging simply by plugging in the charging gun. This eliminates the need for tedious manual charging, resulting in an estimated 20% reduction in operating costs for passenger transport operators and a simultaneous extension of electric vehicle battery life by 20%.
Preliminary estimates suggest that upon full electrification of buses, the industry could save around NT$1 billion (S$46 million), marking a significant financial impact. Hu Zhusheng, Deputy Director of ITRI, emphasised the pivotal role of electric vehicles in realising sustainable development goals and reducing carbon emissions.
ITRI’s electric vehicle charging station operation management system technology addresses key transformation pain points for passenger transport operators, including operating costs, manpower deployment, and battery life monitoring. Besides, the system incorporates “non-current sharing charging” technology, reducing power contract capacity requirements and cutting power costs by over 20%.
Additionally, “remote detection and control” technology minimises manual operations, mitigating the risk of human errors, while “AI artificial intelligence analysis” technology contributes to smooth charging operations and extends battery life by approximately 20%.
The integration of AI technology and big data analytics provides a dashboard for monitoring vehicle battery health and recording the entire life cycle, ensuring the efficient operation of electric buses.
Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Transport, Chen Yanbo, underscored the importance of electrifying vehicles to achieve the 2050 net-zero emission goal. With a target of full electrification for urban buses by 2030, the Ministry of Transport collaborates with industry, government, academic, and research resources.
This collaboration, based on the electric bus data monitoring platform, passenger transport operator scheduling system, and charging equipment, aims to provide comprehensive electric bus energy management, smart charging services, and operation management solutions, supporting the development of smart energy-saving transportation.
Lin Jiguo, Director of the Transportation Research Institute, highlighted the positive impact of the electric bus operation data monitoring and management platform built in 2010-111. This platform has paved the way for integrating electric bus data and digital management applications, with the current smart charging system already operational at the Beishike Station, featuring 64 electric buses.
Plans involve expanding the system to cover multiple stations, passenger transport operators, and cross-system charging dispatch, addressing the charging management needs of electric fleets beyond buses, including electric logistics vehicles and taxis.
ITRI’s focus on new market values, as outlined in its “2035 Technology Strategy and Blueprint,” positions the institute as a key player in developing smart life applications. The research and development initiatives in electric vehicle systems, key components, and smart charging services aim to enhance global competitiveness and contribute to a smarter, energy-saving, and environmentally friendly future for Taiwan’s transportation sector.
Combining AI, big data, and automation, the project reduces operational costs, extends battery life, and exemplifies a crucial step towards eco-friendly and efficient public transportation. This innovation not only enhances the viability of electric buses but also contributes to the broader goals of achieving sustainable and low-carbon urban mobility.
Chengdu has placed its sights on catalysing digital transformation to connect with the dynamic landscape of scientific and technological innovation. With this, the Municipal Development and Reform Commission recently organised a major scheduling meeting for the Digital Transformation Promotion Centre, bringing together key participants in the province’s digital progress.
The recently held meeting convened influential figures from 19 provincial-level digital transformation promotion centres, district and county development and reform departments, and pivotal enterprises within the city. The goal was to enhance the city’s digital transformation promotion service capabilities and fast-track the realisation of a modern industrial system.
The proceedings unfolded with a comprehensive report from the High Technology Department of the Municipal Development and Reform Commission, shedding light on the progress of the city’s digital transformation promotion centre and unveiling the initial evaluation results.
The exchange of ideas extended beyond city borders, with experts from the Sichuan Provincial Digital Economy Development Centre offering insights, interpretation, and guidance on policies supporting the digital transformation initiative.
Highlighting the diverse facets of digital transformation, representatives from various sectors shared their experiences. These exchanges delved into the construction nuances of supporting, regional, and industry-specific digital transformation promotion centres, emphasising a multifaceted approach to catalysing change.
Concrete examples from food technology elucidated the transformative power of digitalisation in their respective industries, showcasing the tangible benefits accrued through embracing cutting-edge technologies. From enhanced processing efficiency in aviation equipment manufacturing to streamlined collaboration in biopharmaceutical production, the ripple effects of digital transformation were tangible.
Chengdu’s strategic position as a hub node in the computing power network has been pivotal in propelling the city’s digital drives. The initiative to construct a ‘smart Chengdu’ serves as the cornerstone for iterative upgrades and the demonstration of emerging technologies, products, business formats, and models. This concerted effort aims to foster innovative development within the digital economy.
The city’s proactive stance has yielded approval for 19 provincial-level digital transformation promotion centres. This includes 10 support centres, 2 regional centres, and 7 industry centres, collectively constituting over 50% of the total number in the province. The coverage extends across strategic areas like Tianfu New District and key industrial chains such as electronic information, equipment manufacturing, and medicine and health.
Success stories were brought to the forefront during the meeting, showcasing the tangible impact of digital transformation. For instance, the Chengdu Aircraft Digital Transformation Promotion Centre has significantly boosted the processing efficiency of the aviation equipment industry chain. Similarly, the Kelun Pharmaceutical Digital Transformation Promotion Centre has facilitated intelligent collaboration in biopharmaceutical production, reducing costs and optimising inventory turnover.
The initiatives underscored the imperative to align with national, provincial, and municipal mandates for deepening the integration of the digital economy with the real economy. A call to action resonated, urging a focus on the high-level construction of Sichuan Provincial Digital Transformation Promotion Centres.
Likewise, the emphasis on harnessing the transformative potential of computing power, algorithms, and data highlights Chengdu’s unwavering commitment to catalysing industry-wide development. The city recognises the pivotal role that advanced computing capabilities, sophisticated algorithms, and insightful data analytics play in propelling industries forward.
By leveraging robust computing power, industries in Chengdu can not only streamline their operations but also enhance their overall efficiency. This translates into faster processing times, heightened accuracy, and the ability to handle complex tasks with unprecedented precision.
The infusion of advanced algorithms further augments this initiative by introducing intelligent decision-making processes that adapt and evolve, ensuring that industries remain agile in dynamic market landscapes.
After COVID-19 has passed, the world is igniting on fostering collaboration to tackle the uncertain future that could happen in no time. Geography is not a hindrance anymore. The country’s leaders and tech experts are coming together to explore innovative ways to address global challenges and promote mutual understanding. In this era of interconnectedness, the realisation that no single nation can thrive in isolation has sparked a new wave of cooperation.
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the significance of international technological collaboration cannot be overstated. In light of the growing scarcity of food resources, countries recognise the need to pool resources and share advancements to ensure food security.
In light of this, the Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR) and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) of the Kingdom of Spain, leaders and experts convened at the Spain-Thailand Innovation & Tech Dialogue Platform.
The dialogue platform aimed to catalyse transformative collaborations in sustainable food technologies. The convergence of expertise from TISTR and CDTI created a dynamic space where innovative ideas were exchanged, fostering a shared vision for a future where technology plays a pivotal role in shaping a sustainable and resilient food industry
Regarded as the “Kitchen of the World”, Thailand has abundant agricultural resources, a skilled agricultural workforce, and its status as the globe’s second-largest rice exporter and a significant contributor to the production of fruits, vegetables, and fishery goods, Thailand grapples with the intricate challenge of maintaining food security.
Hence, some agencies have emphasised the importance of international collaboration in driving innovation, particularly in areas crucial for sustainable development. The necessity of technological advancements in ensuring food security has become increasingly apparent. As Thailand grapples with the intricate task of fortifying its food security measures, the call for collaborative efforts on a global scale resonates strongly.
This forum highlighted the roles of CDTI and the Programme Management Unit for Competitiveness (PMUC) in promoting technological cooperation. It provided an overview of Spain and Thailand’s research and development capacities. Particular emphasis was placed on Circular Economy and Agrifood leadership, aligning with global priorities for sustainable practices.
Further, this forum also held the matching meeting (B2B, R2B, R2R Meetings) parallel to the EU-Thailand Conference on Circular Economy and Food Technology. This segment aimed to deepen knowledge and understanding of funding opportunities under Horizon Europe in circular economy and food technologies. It also sought to foster collaborative research and development cooperation between the European Union and Thailand.
The dialogue platform catalysed knowledge exchange, offering a dynamic space for researchers, policymakers, and industry leaders to explore innovative solutions to address challenges in the food industry. With a focus on circular economy principles and sustainable practices, the collaboration is poised to drive advancements in functional foods while addressing agrifood waste valorisation.
The collaboration not only underlines the commitment of both nations to technological innovation but also signifies a step towards forging lasting partnerships that transcend borders. As the global community strives for sustainable solutions, such international dialogues contribute to a shared vision for a healthier, more sustainable future.
By bringing together expertise from Spain and Thailand, this platform opens new avenues for research, development, and strategic partnerships, particularly in the critical areas of sustainable food technologies and circular economy practices. As the Spain-Thailand collaboration thrives, it marks the nation’s initiative for food security preparedness.
Additionally, this forum also highlights the transformative power of technology, diplomacy, and shared vision in shaping a more sustainable and interconnected future for all. The collaborative spirit evident in this partnership reflects a broader shift in the international landscape towards unity and cooperation for future sustainable nations.
The success of the social economy in this particular nation will experience an acceleration with the pervasive integration of digital technology. Infusing advanced technology into the social fabric fosters efficiency, connectivity, and innovation, creating an environment conducive to sustainable development.
Digital technology catalyses enhancing accessibility, transparency, and inclusivity within the social economy. From facilitating online transactions and fostering e-commerce to empowering local entrepreneurs, the positive impact of digitisation extends across diverse sectors. As citizens access essential digital skills and knowledge, they become active participants in the digital economy, contributing to the overall resilience and dynamism of the nation’s social and economic landscape.
Thailand has consistently championed the cause of fostering digital skill inclusivity, extending its efforts towards diverse segments of the population, including students, entrepreneurs, and individuals with disabilities. Recognising the transformative potential of digital literacy, the nation has embarked on comprehensive initiatives to bridge the gap and ensure that the benefits of the digital era are accessible to all.
In an effort towards fostering digital inclusivity and advancing economic and social development, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society (Minister of DE), inaugurated the Pho Tak Subdistrict Community Digital Centre.
This centre, equipped with the latest technology, aims to bridge the digital divide and empower citizens with essential digital skills. Further, including Mr Phuchapong Nodthaisong, Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, Mr Teerawut Thongphak, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, and other figures in the field of policy management and information technology presided over the opening ceremony.
Accompanied by several governments from the provincial to the subdistrict, the government from the province welcomed the Pho Tak Subdistrict Administrative Organisation in Nong Khai Provincial to the subdistrict. Minister Prasert Chandraruangthong underscored the significance of the Community Digital Centre project, emphasising its alignment with the government’s commitment to leveraging digital technology for economic and societal progress. “Under the auspices of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission (NBTC) and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, this initiative is crucial in advancing the national economy and enhancing Thailand’s competitiveness globally,” he addressed. The government’s commitment is further underscored by establishing a robust digital infrastructure covering regions nationwide, ensuring widespread access to digital technology.
The Community Digital Centres are strategically placed in diverse locations, including temples, mosques, schools, and local government offices, catering to communities across all 77 provinces. With 500 locations already operational, the government plans to expand the network by establishing 1,722 community digital centres in 2023, bringing the total to 2,222 locations nationwide. The overarching goal is to create spaces that drive economic and social development, reducing disparities in access to digital technology.
Mr Phuchapong Nodthaisong, Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, elaborated on the role of the community digital centre in empowering citizens, particularly the youth, with access to digital technology. These centres serve as dynamic learning spaces, fostering lifelong skills and knowledge.
Additionally, they act as hubs for economic and social activities within the community. Various knowledge-building activities are organised, from initiatives to developing digital talent and enhancing youth knowledge to promote early childhood education.
The centre also serves as a platform for community-level meetings, event planning, and cultivating online trading careers. In a strategic partnership with the country’s postal service enterprise, the centre opens avenues for the community to showcase local products through an online platform, promoting local products and traditions on a broader scale.
Mr Phuchapong asserted that the Pho Tak Subdistrict Community Digital Centre is a testament to Thailand’s commitment to creating a digitally inclusive society where every citizen can harness the benefits of digital technology for personal and community development. “As the digital landscape continues to evolve, such initiatives play a pivotal role in ensuring that every community is included in the digital era,” said Mr Phuchapong.