Thailand's Digital Competitiveness ranking in 2023 has climbed up by five places from last year, reaching the 35th position out of 64 economic territories, according to the Institute for Management Development's (IMD) World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (WDCR) 2023.
The report attributes the improvement in ranking to three key factors: the technology factor, which advanced from 20th to 15th place; the knowledge aspect, which improved by four places to 41st; and the future readiness factor, which saw a seven-place improvement to 42nd.
Compared to other Asean nations, Thailand secured the third position after Singapore and Malaysia. In the global level, Singapore claimed the third spot, while Malaysia ranked 33rd. Indonesia rose six places to 45th, while Philippines dropped three places to 59th.
The top 10 economies in this year's ranking include the United States in the lead, followed by the Netherlands, Singapore, Denmark, Switzerland, South Korea, Sweden, Finland, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
These leading economies are characterised as "digital nations", fostering the comprehensive adoption of digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, or AI, by governments, companies, and individuals, according to IMD’s World Competitiveness Center.
"While we measure no specific AI indicators, the technology sits silently at the core of several subfactors that we quantify: talent, regulatory and technological frameworks, and adaptive attitudes and business agility," said Prof Arturo Bris, director of IMD’s World Competitiveness Center, which has been producing the WDCR since 2017.
On a data level, the quality of digital regulation, the funding available for technology development, and the degree of company agility are all data points that are intertwined with AI.
AI technology and national security concerns are at the core of another remarkable trend observed in the ranking: an increasing focus on cybersecurity. Of the 4,000 senior executives around the world who responded to the WDCR survey, only 5% said they had not implemented any new cybersecurity measures in the past year.
Teeranun Srihong, chairman of Thailand Management Association (TMA) Center for Competitiveness, said the country's ranking in knowledge and future readiness are still not favourable, but they show signs of improvement.
The current priority for Thailand is to keep up with AI technology while enhancing cybersecurity and privacy protection. The government cybersecurity capacity and privacy protection by law content each were ranked at the 58th and 43rd positions, said Mr Teeranun.