Effective Digital Innovation in Nurturing Sustainability Goals in Thailand – Day 2 Key Takeaways from the 39th edition of ASEAN Innovation Business Platform (AIBP) Conference & Exhibition

The 39th edition of ASEAN Innovation Business Platform (AIBP) Conference & Exhibition concluded on 30th November, at Conrad Bangkok Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, wrapping up our series of in-person events in ASEAN over this month. 

The Role of Digital Innovation in Facilitating Industry 4.0 Thailand 

Day 2 kicked off with the first session discussing the role of technology and innovation in Facilitating Industry 4.0 Development in Thailand. Dr. Cholachit Vorawangso Virakul, Assistant Secretary General, Macroeconomic Affairs, Eastern Economic Corridor Thailand (EEC) shared about the potential of Thailand’s economic growth post-COVID with the aid of digital transformation. To make this mission possible, the EEC will need to provide a strong support system for the country’s digital infrastructure. Alexander Press, Head of Digital – Factory 4.0 & Industrial Collaborative Ecosystem, Sanofi shared the importance of building a resilient digital infrastructure system to meet customer needs and production demands in the healthcare industry. 

Following the presentations was the panel discussion on Industry 4.0, Thossaporn Petporee, Senior Vice President, CP Foods and Dr. Surasak Wannaparhun, Vice President, BJC Group Innovation Leader, Berli Jucker PCL highlighted the importance of business automation tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) to increase production capacity and improve business performance. Echoing this sentiment, Dr Virat Chatdarong, Vice President, Specialty Polymers Business, TPI Polene also highlighted the importance of customer insights for TPI Polene in catering to different groups of customers. In addition, Preecha Powanusorn, Assistant Managing Director, Thai Union Group PCL elaborated on the role of lean manufacturing in the journey towards Industry 4.0.

Meeting the Carbon Neutrality Goal via Expansion of Thailand’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Ecosystem 

The subsequent session focused on the development of Electric Vehicles (EV) in Thailand, and how digitalisation will continue to strengthen current developments nationwide.

Warit Rattanachuen, Assistant Governor, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) delivered a presentation on EGAT’s goal of carbon neutrality, and how EV ecosystem development is one of the key pillars of developments for EGAT to reach this goal. 

He was then joined by representatives from public and private enterprises involved in the EV ecosystem to discuss how EV development can be further amplified on a nationwide level in Thailand. Dr Akarin Suwannarat, Special Assistant to CEO, Executive Vice President, Energy Absolute PCL and Supakorn Saengsrithorn, Director of Business Development Division, Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) both agreed that logistics improvements are vital in encouraging EV development, namely leveraging technology to improve location detection of charging stations and parking lots for EVs. Dr Akarin further elaborated on some of the potential issues for EV adoption, particularly the lack of energy supply resiliency for the vehicles. Echoing this sentiment, Rawee Boonsinsukh, Director, Winnonie Company Limited and Executive Vice President, Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited illustrated the role of technology and business automation tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to locate and determine the density of vehicles available. In addition, Dr. Yossapong Laoonual, Honorary Chairman, Electric Vehicles Association Thailand (EVAT) highlighted the importance of government support and regulations in supporting EV ecosystem development and ensuring that the development is extended nation-wide, beyond urban areas in Thailand.

Leveraging on Technology to Nurture Sustainable Smart City Development 

The final session of the conference delved into the topic of Smart City Development and how digitalisation plays an important role in enabling sustainable Smart City Development in Thailand on a nationwide level. Nate Thanet Chanchareon, Senior Vice President, Nebula Corporation, Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC) delivered a presentation on a People-Centric Approach to Smart City Development; more specifically, how future urbanization of smart cities should be citizen-centric and collaborations between government agencies and citizens are required to create a robust smart city ecosystem. He was then joined by Suwat Meemook, Executive Vice President of Digital Organisation, Bangchak Corporation and Dr. Supakorn Siddhichai, Senior Vice President, Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) on a panel discussion. Suwat and Nate both agreed on the importance of collaboration between government agencies, enterprises and citizens in creating citizen-centric robust smart cities. In addition, Suprakorn pinpointed the importance of identifying the correct technology to accurately alleviate pain points of smart city development; for instance, data and artificial intelligence can be leveraged to promote transit-oriented development, subsequently encouraging public transportation use in smart cities. 

Wrapping up 2022 AIBP ASEAN Conference & Exhibition Series 

It has been an eye-opening journey across the two days of the 39th edition of AIBP Conference & Exhibition in Thailand, as we learn how digital innovation is shaping multiple sectors of the economy, including but not limited to, government agencies, manufacturing, retail, banking, and smart city.  

Key opportunities for Thailand to develop its burgeoning digital economy include building and upgrading supporting infrastructure for digital innovation, especially in non-urban areas, as well as improving collaborations between the public and private sectors to drive synergy and growth. A shift in mindset and perspective  in both public and private sector players to have an innovation-driven mindset will go a long way in this journey . 

Stay tuned for our next article summarizing the key takeaways throughout all of our conference stops across the ASEAN regions in 2022. Until then, do keep in touch – contact us at [email protected] and keep an eye out on our announcements of exciting different activities in 2023!


2 December 2022