Space technology offers capability to raise competitiveness

Space technology offers capability to raise competitiveness

Space technology can improve the competitiveness of Thai businesses, especially in the farm, transport and construction sectors, according to Krungthai Compass, a research unit under Krungthai Bank.

Phatcharaphot Nuntramas, the bank's chief economist, said the global digital transformation trend has inspired the business sector to capitalise on space technology to deal with climate change, food insecurity and supply chain disruptions.

He said space technology would become a global mega-trend as more companies apply it to improve their operations, including the use of smart remote sensing to develop crop planting plans or smart cities.

Krungthai Compass analyst Apinun Suprasurt said space technology could be applied in various industrial sectors to reduce costs, mitigate the impact of climate change on their business and enhance management efficiency of the production supply chain.

Mr Apinun said satellite aerial image technology could help the farm sector reduce the financial impact of climate change on rice production by 2.35 billion baht per year.

In a typical year, Thai rice production suffers damage totalling 42 billion baht.

A global navigation satellite system can help the transport sector save 3 billion baht per year by reducing the damage to vegetables and fruit from spoilage during shipment, he said.

The construction sector can apply remote sensing systems via drones to conduct land surveys for construction work, which could help cut construction costs by 10-20%, said Mr Apinun.

Krungthai Compass analyst Pramote Wattananusarn said if the country wants more companies to adopt space technology, the government should promote the benefits of the technology and support its use.

The government should also encourage companies to collaborate with the country's space technology agencies and startups, he said.

Mr Pramote estimated that if Thailand aims to have a "medium-advanced" level of space technology, it would have to invest at least 20 billion baht per year over a 10-year period.

Of the total investment of 200 billion baht for this period, he said 92 billion baht should be spent on the promotion of the space technology industry, 64 billion on R&D, and 44 billion for human resource development.

Space technology includes the upstream businesses of satellite operators, shuttle and rocket services as well as spaceships and space stations.

The sector also includes downstream businesses such as data services and processing services, including satellite aerial images and navigation systems.

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