Digital business confidence low amid economic woes
Business confidence among digital-related enterprises showed no marked improvement in the second quarter, based on a recent Digital Sentiment Index survey, as Thailand grapples with high inflation, international conflicts and uncertain state policies, says the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa).
The index was at 46 in the second quarter, compared with 44.8 in the previous quarter.
The survey looked at five digital-related industries -- hardware and smart devices, software, digital services, digital content, and telecommunications.
It showed that confidence rose in the areas of operating results, production volume and orders, but dropped in the fields of employment, investment, and costs.
The index is conducted quarterly through a sampling survey of around 500 digital industry enterprises that are registered with Depa.
The survey is conducted in line with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society's instructions, in a bid to accelerate the country's digital economy and society based on data and information.
Depa president and chief executive Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin said Thailand's reopening has reinvigorated the tourism sector, but unclear government policies have made it difficult for those in the digital industry to access state procurement.
He said the country is also pressured by external factors, including slow global economic recovery and international conflicts, which have driven up inflation.
"Tension between China and Taiwan, which are key production bases for chipsets and electronic parts, has caused supply shortages, affecting growth in every digital sector," said Mr Nuttapon.
All digital-related industries surveyed had an index of less than 50 -- software at 48.6, digital services at 46.4, digital content at 45.8, hardware and smart devices at 44.5, and telecommunications at 41.3.
Mr Nuttapon said such figures reflect the fact that digital business entrepreneurs still lack confidence and are spending cautiously.
"Digital-related entrepreneurs expect the government to come up with measures that could level up consumption and create their investment confidence through financial policies and regulations," he said.
He added that entrepreneurs also need support for new innovation development to level up their competitiveness, and greater access to government procurements.