Government bid to raise country's digital competitiveness

Government bid to raise country's digital competitiveness

Mr Wisit gives a keynote address at an event of Digital Governance Thailand (DGT 2023) held under the concept of
Mr Wisit gives a keynote address at an event of Digital Governance Thailand (DGT 2023) held under the concept of "Happiness Creation." The event hosted by the ETDA last week brought together more than 50 partners from the public and private sectors.

The Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry wants digital-related businesses to contribute 30% of GDP and for Thailand to reach the top 30 of the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking, both by 2027.

The targets can be achieved by promoting the adoption of digital technology for products and services that add value in key sectors such as digital, commerce, tourism, public health, finance and education, said DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn.

He said the DES Ministry and the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) set out a framework through a strategic plan to improve the ratio of value creation as well as the country's digital competitiveness.

The country's competitiveness can be bolstered via many channels, including training staff in different government departments to gain digital technology knowledge and skills.

"This ambitious 30:30 goal means we are not only competing with other countries, but also with ourselves to achieve digital sustainability in both the economy and our society," said Mr Chaiwut.

Wisit Wisitsora-At, DES permanent secretary and chairman of the ETDA supervisory board, said achieving a higher IMD ranking can be accomplished by leveraging its existing strengths, such as massive investments in telecom, exports of advanced technology, internet speed, and the application of technology in the workplace.

Thailand fell five places to 33rd out of the 63 economies ranked in the 2022 IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking.

He said the country needs to strengthen digital services, particularly government services such as e-government, as well as promote digital entrepreneurship, enhance digital skills and related technologies, encourage retail e-commerce, and build confidence in using the available services.

Standards also need to be established to safeguard individuals from cyber-risks such as online fraud, contact centre scams and data theft, said Mr Wisit.

"These can be achieved through the combined efforts of all relevant sectors," he said.

Moreover, through its collaborative efforts with partner agencies, ETDA will facilitate the development of a full-scale facial verification service (FVS) to improve the services of government agencies and private organisations.

This service represents a critical effort to demonstrate that harnessing digital technology within a well-equipped infrastructure makes Thailand strong and capable of competing on an equal footing in the global arena, said Mr Wisit.

The number of online transactions in the country has expanded year after year, he said.

Mr Wisit said solutions must be considered from two perspectives when dealing with an increase in cyberthreats.

From the perspective of users, they must be kept up to date in terms of both information and circumstances. They must be digital-savvy, alert and always cautious, he said.

From the perspective of digital service providers, effective management and practices that ensure consumer confidence are essential, said Mr Wisit.

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