World Bank: Thai digital and circular economy worth $3.4 billion

Thailand could earn roughly $3.4 billion a year in revenues and investments from its growing digital and circular economies, according to the World Bank, which urged the government to push forward with structural reforms.

By embracing the circular economy, Thailand could generate as much as $1.6 billion of cost savings and additional revenue for the private sector, the World Bank said in a memo last week. The circular economy is based on careful stewardship of resources, recycling and reuse. The Bank said that the approach would benefit agriculture, construction and electronics the most.

In addition, $1.8 billion a year could be raised by accelerating the adoption of digital technology. Thailand is well-positioned in e-commerce and fintech, the Bank mentioned, and the earnings would mostly come from new investments and expansion of those sectors.

In its 20-year national development plan, Thailand is prioritizing the digital and circular economies. Going green and higher technology are two important foundations of the Kingdom’s economic evolution from being solely a manufacturing powerhouse to an economy and society also known for innovation and creativity.

Through the Board of Investment (BOI), the government has developed several packages of incentives and privileges for those who invest in those sectors. Tax rates have been lowered or waived to facilitate foreign and domestic investments in those and other industries.

“With COVID-19, digital and disruptive technologies have been key in keeping businesses afloat,” Thailand’s Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith was quoted in the World Bank statement.

Thailand, a $544 billion economy before the pandemic hit, is currently the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia.

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