Depa's 'Digital Infinity' action plan seeks to increase GDP

Depa's 'Digital Infinity' action plan seeks to increase GDP

The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) has outlined its 2023 action plan, using what it calls its "Digital Infinity" mission to help increase the country's GDP per person to reach US$10,000 in five years, up from $6,270 in 2021.

The plan is a multi-faceted approach aimed at promoting the digital economy and capitalising on the country's competitive advantages.

According to the World Bank, Thailand's GDP per person of $6,270 in 2021 is equivalent to 50% of the global GDP per person.

Depa president and chief executive Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin said the goal of the action plan is to improve people's quality of life in 2023.

The agency wants to support the digital startup ecosystem, ensuring the country becomes a hub for startups in all digital-related industries.

Depa will not only promote digital services, but also other areas such as digital content and gaming as well as hardware and smart devices.

The agency is also building an investment promotion mechanism while supporting local startups to gain footholds in Asean and China, Mr Nuttapon said.

Depa wants to accelerate the creation of new tools aimed at shifting industrial production towards automation, such as the use of robots in the production process.

Another goal is to add value to the agricultural sector by upgrading digital technology apps, laying the foundation to prepare for entry to the global market.

Regarding the technology focus, Depa will emphasise future technologies, especially big data, blockchain and artificial intelligence, he said.

"Thailand must accelerate the creation of its own advanced technology [deep tech] as an advantage or protective tool when competing with foreign entities. This development can also be applied to building smart cities," said Mr Nuttapon.

Finally, the agency wants to gear up efforts to promote digital inclusion.

Depa wants to formulate a new Digital Economy Promotion Master Plan, emphasising digital inclusion to make Thailand the Southeast Asian hub for distributing work to all countries in the region.

"Thailand must unlock legal processes, regulations and restrictions related to the ecosystem. This will help create an environment that attracts investors and experts from abroad," he said.

Referring to Depa's achievements, Mr Nuttapon said the agency has played a part in supporting more than 4.2 million students to learn computer coding.

It also played a role in creating 142 local digital startups, which have generated more than 16 billion baht, he said.

"Digital startups are considered vital mechanisms that lead to the transformation of the country's real sectors," Mr Nuttapon said.

Through Depa's support, 281 communities have benefited from information and digital technology.

At least 9 million people, especially youth, the elderly and vulnerable groups, have acquired digital literacy, realising the benefits of applying digital technology, he said.

The agency is promoting "Smart City" development in 30 areas in 23 provinces, incentivising the new generation to go back to work in developing their hometowns, while doing integral work with localities through the Smart City Ambassadors programme.

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