Thailand banking on bio, circular and green economy

Thailand’s national strategy is going green. The government has approved a five-year strategic plan to boost the bio, circular and green (BCG) economy as the best path to sustainability and more equitable and resilient development.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chaired the meeting that approved the strategic plan, underscoring the importance Thai policymakers are placing on the BCG economy. The Prime Minister and his advisors believe transitioning to a BCG economy is in line with the most forward-looking global development trends.
“The government is serious about pushing BCG to boost Thailand’s economy,” said Kitipong Promwong, Director of the Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council. “BCG seems to offer the best solution to drive economic growth propelled by domestic drivers.”
As a nation with a robust agricultural sector and plentiful natural resources, Thailand has an abundance of raw materials to fuel a BCG economy. Other vital components are research and development and innovation. Thailand has been steadily increasing its budget allocations for public research, and the private sector, from startups to corporations, has been placing a premium on innovation.
Thailand’s BCG strategy will focus on promoting four industries: farm and food; healthcare and medical services; energy and bio-chemicals; tourism and the creative economy.
Kitipong said the government wanted to increase the use of farm products and biomass in renewable energy, bio-plastics, oleo-chemicals from oil palm, bio-chemicals, and cosmetic ingredients.
To achieve a BCG economy, the country needs to build capacity in technology and human capital in R&D and production technology for vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, clinical research and product registration.
To make the economy more circular, the government needs to give more support to recycling waste and establish waste hubs in each region.