National strategy Thailand 4.0 officially launched

It’s official. With an announcement published in the Royal Gazette last week, Thailand 4.0, the government’s ambitious 20-year strategy to accelerate the Kingdom’s development to a more advanced level became a formal and certified national policy.

Thailand 4.0 is designed to promote and support innovation, creativity, research and development, higher technologies and green technologies. Although the strategy formally came into effect with its publication in the Royal Gazette, the government has been touting it for over two years – and investors have already been responding.

Dozens of global corporations have committed to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), the three-province advanced development zone near Bangkok that will serve as a showcase for Thailand 4.0. The Corridor consists of Rayong, Chonburi and Chachoengsao provinces. Government and private industries are already building some of the cutting-edge infrastructure required to turn the vision of the EEC into a reality.

Key parts of Thailand 4.0 emphasize “security, wealth and sustainability.” Already ranked as an upper-middle-income country, policymakers believe the strategy will result in the Kingdom graduating to high-income country status. While business media and analysts have focused on the industries that Corridor will attract, the government is also determined to make the area a zone for green living with smart, environmentally friendly cities and towns.

Protecting the environment is integral to both security and sustainability. So are education and human resource development, which policymakers say will lead to reducing social and economic disparities.

Industry, infrastructure, and investment, however, tend to garner more headlines. In Rayong province, the government is renovating and expanding U-Tapao airfield into an international airport that will eventually handle over 100 million passengers a year and link with Bangkok’s two other international airports through a rail network.

Multinational corporations such as Airbus and Rolls Royce are partnering with THAI Airways in the development of an advanced aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at U-Tapao that should ensure the Kingdom is the premier center for aviation in the region.

Aviation and aerospace are among the ten Thailand 4.0 industries that the government and the Board of Investment are supporting with special incentives and privileges to draw investors.

The other industries are next-generation automotive, intelligent electronics, advanced agriculture and biotechnology, food processing, tourism, digital, robotics, logistics, biofuels and biochemicals, and medical.