Call for more soft power policies to plug Thailand
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Call for more soft power policies to plug Thailand

Ms Kasititorn says the local digital content industry is expected to rebound and reach 44.9 billion baht by 2025, according to the joint survey.
Ms Kasititorn says the local digital content industry is expected to rebound and reach 44.9 billion baht by 2025, according to the joint survey.

The new government should utilise entertainment, TV series and games as soft power to promote the country's branding, according to Digital Content Association of Thailand (DCAT).

Association president Kris Nalamlieng said the government should also strengthen the digital content ecosystem.

He cited South Korea as an example of a country that used its soft power to build its cosmetics industry.

Mr Kris said the emergence of generative artificial intelligence (AI) helps studios create ideas and advertise products.

Generative AI is a technology that uses data to create new content/text, images, audio, video, code and other media.

Mr Kris said Thailand needs to have a matching fund worth 10 billion baht for the production of content and to support the local content to pitch for the fund.

Lak Taechawanchai, vice-president of the Digital Council of Thailand, said the new government had sent a positive signal to promote soft power. He hopes it will focus on the "five F" areas: food, film, fashion, fighting, and festivals.

On Sept 13 the cabinet decided to set up the national soft power strategy committee, aiming at leveraging soft power to boost economic growth.

In a related matter, the Thai Digital Content Industry Survey 2022, jointly conducted by digital content parties, found the industry's total value in 2022 dropped 4% year-on-year to 40.5 billion baht, attributed to a contraction in the gaming sector.

However, the industry is expected to rebound to 45 billion baht by 2025. Entrepreneurs have urged the government to leverage digital workforce skills to increase the potential of Thailand's soft power.

The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa), in collaboration with DCAT, the Thai Animation and Computer Graphics Association, the Thai Game Software Industry Association, Bangkok ACM SIGGRAPH, and Atwise Consulting Co, jointly conducted this 2022 survey of the Thai digital content industry, encompassing games, animation and characters, concluding with a three-year trend forecast.

The e-book industry is included in the survey for the first time to represent the digital content industry.

According to Kasititorn Pooparadai, Depa's senior executive vice-president, the gaming sector accounts for 85% of the digital content industry's total value.

Ms Kasititorn said in 2022, the gaming industry had a total value of 34.6 billion baht, a 7% decrease, as the number of players fell. The reduction in game-playing time was a result of people returning to their usual lifestyles.

However, the gaming industry still holds significant growth potential. This potential lies not only in the ongoing development of high-quality and innovative gaming experiences for players, but also in game finance and game non-fungible token investment opportunities, she said.

These emerging trends are poised to attract players and entrepreneurs from other industries into the gaming sector.

Conversely, a shortage of skilled workers and the limitations of investment capital and access to funding for entrepreneurs have continued to hinder the progress of this segment.

The animation industry posted an average growth rate of 15% in the past year, reaching 3.94 billion baht. Thailand holds a significant position as a key source for contracts in animation, computer graphics, and visual effects projects.

The primary groups of countries that seek services in these areas include China, Japan, South Korea, various European nations, the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Canada.

In 2022, the animation industry registered an export value of 2.61 billion baht, a growth of 21% from 2022.

In 2022, the e-book industry achieved a total value of 3.71 billion baht, mainly driven by consumers who seek convenience to access their preferred content anywhere and anytime without the need to carry physical books.

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