Digital content to reach B33bn
The value of the digital content industry in Thailand this year is expected to reach 33 billion baht, up 10% from 2018 thanks to rising demand for animation and games in the global market as well as business development and promotion by the private sector and state, says the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP).
The character industry is a prime target for the government's promotion strategy as its growth is higher than the overall economy's expansion, said Chakarin Komolsiri, assistant director-general of the DITP.
The government wants to drive the country to become an Asian digital content industry hub this year through a "Digital Co-creation" collaboration with all sectors, including the government and industrial players.
"Thailand has produced, consumed and implemented digital content at a very high value per year for the past five years," said Mr Chakarin.
He said Thai entrepreneurs in the digital content industry have high potential, capability and creativity.
Supporting entrepreneurs through cooperation between the private and state sectors will help economic growth in line with the government's Thailand 4.0 policy, meant to create an economy driven by innovation and technology.
This would be a boon for digital content industries, including animation, gaming, characters, e-learning, computer graphics, virtual reality, as well as new technologies and education, said Mr Chakarin.
He was speaking on Wednesday at the launch of Bangkok International Digital Content Festival 2019 (BIDC), hosted by DITP, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau and the Digital Economy Promotion Agency in cooperation with Line Creators market.
The event features five digital content associations, comprising the Thai Animation & Computer Graphics Association, Digital Content Association of Thailand, E-Learning Association of Thailand, Bangkok ACM SIGGRAPH and the Thai Game Software Industry Association.
Mr Chakarin said the Digital Co-creation concept fosters opportunities for entrepreneurs to meet and match with local and international business partners.
"Business matching serves as a key mechanism to fuel growth on a continual and sustainable basis," he said.
"BIDC 2018 recorded successful business matches with a business value of 900 million baht," said Mr Chakarin.
"This year's iteration is expected to see 1.5 billion baht in value worth of successful business matches."
Business matching is a highlight at BIDC 2019, providing an opportunity for new entrepreneurs to partner with 39 leading companies from 12 countries comprising Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Finland, Poland, Spain, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
These leading firms include Walt Disney; CCTV Animation, the Chinese TV station with the most viewers; Bandai Namco Studios; and Grasshopper Manufacturing -- the game development team for Let it Die.
Some 67 local companies participating in the business matching include Kantana Animation (producer of the animated cartoon Khan Klauy), Riff animation studio (Thai Academy winner in VFX), Yggdrasil (CG and VFX studio, creator of virtual reality game Home Sweet Home) and 2Spot Studio (owner of Bloody Bunny).
Nop Thamvanich, a representative from the digital content associations, said the government can play a major role in supporting the cooperation between international networks and Thai digital content companies in various fields, including animation and games.