IoT Development in Thailand – AIBP Singapore 2018 Throwback

Hope you are off to a good start in 2019. To begin the year, I would like to share the last article of the throwback series posts on some of the key discussions regarding IoT development and plans in the region in 2018 that was shared in our Keynote Session at the 20th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform (AIBP) in Singapore in 2018. I will conclude the series of articles by sharing with you the discussion on Thailand’s development (you can view my post on Indonesia: IoT Development in Indonesia and on Malaysia: IoT Development in Malaysia)

In this gathering, Thailand was represented by Dr. Sumavasee Salasuk, Director of Digital Innovation Promotion Zone, Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa). depa, an operating arm of Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), was established in 2017 to encourage the digital ecosystem development and to accelerate the enterprise digitalization in Thailand.

Thailand 4.0

Dr. Sumavasee started her presentation by sharing the flagship initiative by the Thai government: Thailand 4.0. Thailand 4.0 aims to hasten the pace of economic transformation in Thailand, shifting forward her economy to a value-based and innovation-driven economy. Under this initiative, the Thai government has identified critical industries to focus on and group it into 2 categories:

  1. S-Curve Industries: Next-Generation Automotive, Intelligent Electronics, Advance Agriculture and Biotechnology, Food Processing and Tourism 
  2. New S-Curve industries: Digital, Robotics and Automation, Aviation and Logistics, Biofuels and Biochemicals and Medical Hub 

(Credit: depa)

She stressed that it is imperative for Thai traditional industries (S-Curve) to undergo a transformative shift through the adoption of frontiers technology including IoT and AI to stay relevant and competitive in the regional and global landscape. The formation of New S-Curve industries, which aims to create new industrial base growth and position Thailand as a digital hub, would be a priority for depa too in 2018 and 2019. The masterplan of Digital Park Thailand which include IoT institute development is being finalised as well.

In addition, strategic roadmap has been set to drive digital economy in Thailand and it is outlined within 4 main strategies:

  1. Building manpower for the digital era. In order to have a sustainable development of digital economy, it is important to enhance the skills of the local manpower through training and transform them into “digital citizens”. depa is also encouraging foreign talents and investors to enter Thailand through various promotion schemes including SMART Visa which provides more benefits and privileges than any other visa.
  2. Transforming economy towards digital Thailand. The government is encouraging local enterprises especially those in the S-Curve Industries to adopt technology as part of their operations. Grants have been introduced to subsidise the cost of technology investments and the government aims to have 25,000 digitalised enterprises. The creation and growth of local startups are crucial as well to support digital Thailand.
  3. Empowering communities for digital future. Network and communication infrastructures are being built and accelerated to provide good connectivity across the country including in villages and remote areas.
  4. Building digital innovation ecosystems. Smart cities are being developed in Thailand with Chiang Mai and Phuket as the model cities. These cities would also serve as a platform where the digital ecosystems will be developed.

(Credit: depa)

The strategic roadmap was also emphasised by Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, CEO of depa, and Ajarin Pattanapanchai, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society when they shared further about the current development in Thailand during Asia IoT Business Platform Thailand. Dr. Nuttapon stated that the creation of marketplaces for local enterprises is as important as the development of infrastructure and manpower, including startups.

Asia IoT Business Platform Singapore

We will be hosting a regional gathering in Singapore, the 28th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform, on the 15th January 2019 where ASEAN governments and key enterprises will be involved. Dr. Monsak Socharoentum, Acting Director of IoT & Digital Innovation Institute, depa, will be sharing further on the Thai government’s latest initiatives and the current landscape of enterprise IoT and digitalisation in Thailand.

Drop me a note at if you are interested to know more details on the market landscape of Thailand or if you would like to attend the gathering in Singapore.

Felix Fernando

10 January 2019

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