Prime Minister believes government must go digital

Thailand’s government must go digital to better serve the needs of the people, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said last week as Google and a Singaporean firm forecast Thailand’s digital economy would reach $50 billion by 2025.

The Prime Minister said his government would make use of Big Data in formulating its budgets so that funding can be targeted more accurately and effectively towards programs, projects, and people that most need it.

He said he has also instructed the Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC) that it must seek out candidates with digital technology skills in its recruitment for new state officials. Civil servants should be prepared to handle increased and complex information flows that would accompany the advent of 5G networks.

As digital development increasingly drives the Thai economy, a consultant forecast that Thailand’s internet economy would be worth $50 billion by 2025. The figure was the result of a study conducted by Bain & Company on behalf of Google and Temasek, the Singaporean conglomerate.

Bain said that Thailand now has the second-largest digital economy in the region after Indonesia. Thailand’s internet economy will be worth $16 billion, and it is growing at a rate of 29 percent a year, the report said.

The largest component of Thailand’s digital economy at the moment is online travel at $7.2 billion, consisting of flights, hotels, and vacation rentals. While tourism is a mature segment, e-commerce is the fastest-growing segment. Since 2015, e-commerce has grown by an average of 54 percent a year and is now valued at $5 billion.

The study also said that ASEAN’s digital economy would be worth $300 billion by 2025.

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