Mapping pillars of digital economy in Thailand

The first draft of a plan to make Thailand a digital economy should soon be ready for submission to a new committee established for that purpose by the military regime.

Manoo Ordeedolchest, a member of the Digital Economy Policy Working Committee, said the panel was chaired by Pridiyathorn Devakula, the deputy prime minister for the economy. There are eight other members including Manoo.

Initially, the plan will consist of six pillars: hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, service infrastructure, digital-economy promotion, digital society, and digital knowledge.

Manoo revealed to The Nation his own rough ideas about what each pillar would look like.

Hard infrastructure would be the fibre-optic network that needed to be established throughout the country to support the digital economy.

Soft infrastructure is the laws and regulations surrounding the digital economy, as well as cyber-security.

Service infrastructure is the facilities that the government provides for businesses and individuals.

Promotion of the digital economy is an important task. The government needs to do this in every component of society including business, individuals, and the agencies of the state itself.

The digital-society pillar concerns educating Thais on how to use these new technologies in proper ways to improve the quality of their living and working environments.

Digital knowledge means putting useful information into digital formats that are widely accessible.

"Digital economy is not a new thing. We have been working on this for a while. Actually, the digital-economy concept is about how to utilise ICT [information and communications technology] for social and economic benefits. Both the government and private sectors have been working on this, but it has lacked synergy," Manoo said.

The six pillars will be implemented under a short-term plan (by the next year) and a mid-term plan (within three years).

Information and Communications Technology Minister Pornchai Rujiprapa said the digital-economy concept would permeate all sectors of the country - government, business, education, and society.

"Now we are working with all stakeholders in the government and have invited experts in digital and economic areas to draft a digital-economy road map. A working committee and an action plan for the digital economy should be ready by early next year," he said.

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