Thailand reveals plans for ‘ASEAN’s biggest digital innovation hub’

Thailand wants to steer its economy away from a dependency on traditional industries

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Thailand reveals plans for ‘ASEAN’s biggest digital innovation hub’

Thailand is set to launch Digital Park Thailand, which its says will be the biggest digital innovation hub in Southeast Asia.

The mega project is designed to create an ecosystem to drive ideas and innovation for development by providing access to tools, resources, and networks, according to a press release.

Spearheaded by Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), a government agency under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, this project is part of the so-called “Thailand 4.0 initiative” which in turn is a way of saying the Thai government wants to steer the country’s economy away from its dependency on traditional industries and has the ambition to digitalise.

DEPA says some of the sectors it wishes to develop rough the innovation hub are robotics; artificial intelligence and machine learning; Internet of Things; content and cloud-based services; as well as data analytics and autonomous vehicles.

Aside from committing US$160 million to the Digital Park Thailand, DEPA will also be offering tax incentives to attract foreign talent to the Thai market, says Dr. Monsak Socharoentum, Director of the IoT and Digital Innovation Institute which is part of the Park.

Thailand aims to position itself as the gateway to untapped markets like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam,  taking cues from how Singapore positions itself as an entry point to Southeast Asia and even India. The project seeks to attract more than 100,000 digital ecosystem developers into Thailand, including developers as well as enablers in the non-tech business sectors like business strategy consultants and commercialisation experts.

The Thailand Digital Park and IoT Institute will be housed in the Eastern Economic Corridor, which is 1.3 hours southeast of Bangkok. It will take up a space of approximately 100 hectares, and the first building is said to be ready by end of 2019.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad