Intel interested in helping Thailand become digital nation



United States-based integrated circuit giant Intel Corporation believes Thailand has the potential to become a digital economy and is interested in providing services to design the technological blueprint to drive the achievement of that goal, the company’s managing director for Southeast Asia said last week.

As a digital nation, Thailand could increase the efficiency of its public sector and its ability to provide public services, particularly through e-government, said Prakash Mallya, Intel’s top executive in the region. To accelerate digital development, Thailand needs to upgrade its infrastructure and connectivity and improve the digital literacy of its people, he added.

“Ultimately, a smart nation can dramatically enhance the wellbeing and livelihoods of Thai people, through the implementation of smart transportation (less traffic), smart agriculture (higher yields plus improved income) or smart healthcare (better medical services),” Mallya told The Nation newspaper.

A population and workforce that are more digitally literate would be more able to develop ideas that will improve business operations and ways to generate revenue, and both of those could help propel a rise in gross domestic product growth.

Thais with access to the digital world have taken to it in a big way as far as social media is concerned, with more than 30 million people holding Facebook accounts and 20 million logging in from mobile devices. But lack of infrastructure and funding means that millions of Thais are not connected to the digital world or have limited access to it.

Beyond social media, the government has begun placing more emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, which will eventually result in a rise in digital literacy. The programs, however, are in early stages.

Mallya believes Intel could play a vibrant role in collaborating with the government and private sector. Intel promotes digital technology to help nations advance through six pillars with the government: infrastructure development in the country, social development, manpower and talent, and human capital development as well as smart technology, and end to end deployment.

“The government’s current vision is very articulate and very well thought through. It also has the key elements based on technology available today to make the best impact towards creating a prosperous, high income and connected nation,” Mallya said. “Intel is very keen to support this vision.”