Thailand sees massive digital investor draw
According to a recent report, investors have applied to avail promotions for 135 projects in the country’s digital industry, with a combined worth of 12.7 billion baht over the first nine months this year, sharp growth of 405% from the same period last year, according to the Board of Investment (BoI) of Thailand.
Digital business is one of 12 targeted industries under the government’s S-curve policy. It consists of software development, digital platform service, cloud service and innovation incubation centre.
Since early 2018, the BoI has approved enterprise software, digital content and embedded software.
The Board of Investment’s Deputy Secretary-General noted that the sharp growth in the digital industry is a positive sign, with new applications growing in line with the government’s strategy to focus on new industries that will add value.
He added that, in addition, the digital industry will adopt new technology and innovation to increase industrial efficiency and competitiveness.
The True Digital Park Co has recently received permission to establish the country’s first digital park in Thailand, with an investment of 1.58 billion baht.
The digital park will be located on Sukhumvit Road, adjacent to the Punnawithi skytrain station.
True will develop an area of 41,000 square metres to be the digital business hub, which features a co-working space, technology laboratory, training and learning centre, business promotional activity area, one-stop service centre and innovation space service for educational institutions.
True Digital Park, sponsored by True Corporation, aims to become a global startup destination to develop a technology and innovation system in Thailand that connects start-ups, entrepreneurs, tech companies, accelerators, incubators, academies and government agencies.
It was noted that the digital project is expected to be a key factor to prepare new infrastructure and support new technology communities and systems for the development of Thailand’s digital industry and produce a new digital crew for the future state of Thailand 4.0 initiative.
Moreover, the Board of Investment also expects to improve smart cities in the future.
It was noted that the BoI has agreed to promote seven cloud service firms with a total investment of 1.14 billion baht.
They include Japan’s Digital Port Asia, US-based SUPERNAP International and TCC Technology, which is owned by a Thai tycoon.
Earlier, the BoI approved the 700-million-baht project from a major Chinese tech company’s Thailand arm to build two data centres in Bangkok and Chon Buri.
According to the government website, Thailand 4.0 is an economic model that aims to unlock the country from several economic challenges resulting from past economic development models which place emphasis on agriculture (Thailand 1.0), light industry (Thailand 2.0), and advanced industry (Thailand 3.0). These challenges include “a middle-income trap”, “an inequality trap”, and “an imbalanced trap”.
According to the official record, Thailand 4.0 is an engine to propel new economic growth through the transformation of “comparative advantage” into “competitive advantage”.
This approach will fulfil the country with knowledge, creativity, innovation, science, technology, research and innovation, and build upon comparative advantage with “5 Groups of Technology and Targeted Industries”.
Two of these groups are: using digital tools and loT as platforms to enhance productivity, quality and innovation in various economic activities within agriculture, industrial, service and education sectors; and, undertaking actions that synergize basic cultural assets, innovation and technology in order to increase commercial value and ultimately enable Thailand to move forward in becoming one of ASEAN’s “Creative hubs” within the next ten years.
It is hoped that these objectives will be met with the vast investments pouring into Thailand’s economic and technological ecosystem.