Cabinet to consider 2-year plan under Thailand 4.0

Cabinet to consider 2-year plan under Thailand 4.0

The Industry Ministry has created a two-year master plan (2017-18) to improve and modernise the industrial sector in the short term under the Thailand 4.0 project.

The springboard committee, which oversees the project, is due to finalise the master plan in August and submit it for cabinet approval soon, said Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang.

The committee, which is composed of state officials and business leaders, has been tasked with seeking ways to improve Thai industry. It is part of the Thailand 4.0 project, which focuses on the next generation of Thai industry using high technology and innovation to create products with higher added value.

"The Industry Ministry is working on the short-term plan as a speedy way to improve Thai industry. The plan covers targeted industries in the cluster policy as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, aiming to add value to industrial products," said Ms Atchaka, speaking at a forum entitled "New Revolution of Thai Industry 4.0" held by the Office of Industrial Economics.

The industries targeted for government support are the food, agriculture and biotech, health, wellness and biomedical, smart devices, robotics and digital sectors.

"Thailand 4.0 is the new generation of industry that relies on innovation to move the economy forward and help the country escape the middle-income trap," said Ms Atchaka.

Kanit Sangsubhan, an adviser to the Fiscal Policy Research Institute Foundation, forecast the total investment value of Thai industry over the next five years to reach 1.5 trillion baht.

Around 400 billion baht would be invested in infrastructure projects, 200 billion baht would go to tourism, 500 billion baht would be in targeted industries, while 400 billion baht would be invested in the government's flagship policy to promote the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

The EEC spans the three eastern provinces of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao, which will be designated for development as a high-tech industry cluster with an eye towards becoming Asean's leading zone for industrial, infrastructure and urban development.

Mr Kanit said the government has implemented several policies to promote investment, aiming for annual growth of 5-6% over the next few years.

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