Thailand’s digital GDP rose 14 percent in 2021

Riding the wave of a 14 percent rise in the digital gross domestic product, Thailand’s national digital commission has mapped out eight steps to accelerate the Kingdom’s digital transformation with a focus on widespread access, skills and inclusiveness.

The 14-percent increase “was driven by digital products and services, representing new growth opportunities in the Thai economy,” said Putchapong Nodthaisong, Secretary-General of the Office of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission (ONDE).

The figure far outpaced traditional non-digital GDP, which rose only by 1.7 percent in 2021, mainly because of how the global pandemic affected the economy.

Thailand’s e-commerce market is one of the fastest growing in the region, with online merchandise sales surging by 68 percent in 2021, and some economists have forecast that the digital economy will contribute as much as 30 percent to the overall GDP by 2030.

To ensure that the digital economy continues to grow at such an impressive rate, the ONDE said that it will pursue eight projects to facilitate the country’s digital transformation. Among them are equipping more people with digital skills and stimulating a 5G ecosystem.

Better data gathering and analysis are also one of the projects.

Policymakers need more accurate gauging of digital activity to determine exactly how and how much it is contributing to the overall economy and to formulate plans and policies to further accelerate growth.

Also included is a draft action plan on second phase 5G technology promotion and a draft guideline on 5G tech promotion among core industrial sectors (2023-2027). The final project delivers financial assistance for researchers to create innovation and drive digital transformation.