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Govt to spend big on digital economy boast

Dec 07. 2015
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By Jirapan Boonnoon
THE NATION

THE INFORMATION and Communication Technology Ministry has said it will spend Bt3.7 billion next year on driving flagship projects of the digital economy.

Manoo Ordeedolchest, a member of the government’s Digital Economy Committee, said that the money left over from the one-tablet-per-child project.

Manoo said that the flagship projects covered five themes – hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, service infrastructure, promotions and innovation, and the digital society and knowledge.

He said that under the promotions and innovation flagships, a budget of around Bt600 million had been allocated. The ministry would conduct three flagship projects including developing a global trade item number (GTIN).

It would also support tech startups and develop village commerce nationwide.

He said that the ministry would work with the Federation of Thai Industries to develop a business framework that would make it easier to provider local products to the global market.

Manoo said that the FTI would develop and provide a GTIN of international standard that would be an identifier for trade items, product information and product codes. It could be used to look up product information on a database.

The GTIN would apply to manufacturing, retail, lifestyle, medicine and herbal products. As a result, customers would be able to track products.

He said that the GTIN would drive business both locally and international as it would be easier to provide products via e-commerce and drive small and medium-sized businesses via e-commerce.

The ministry aims to support new tech entrepreneurs and startups by developing human resources.

Manoo said that it would work with the private sector and universities to develop innovation and IT skills to support students so they could turn their ideas into innovative products.

 “We try to provide idea-creation skills and innovative skill to support tech startups and real sector,” he said.

“The ministry expects to create more than 10,000 IT-skilled employees in the next five year and create more than 40,000 innovative and ideas-driven employees in the marketplace within 10 years to support demand.”

He said that the ministry would help tech entrepreneurs accelerate getting their products to market.

He said that the village commerce concept involved the ministry transforming the more than 1,900 ICT community centres nationwide that have been used for providing ICT literacy and knowledge to people.

“The centres would help drive local economies via the online channel.

He said that the approach would help people develop their communities by enabling them to better tap markets and make more money through e-commerce.

The village commerce concept would also result in more products under the One Tambon One Product scheme and would be applied to small and medium-sized enterprises in the next step.

He added that the ministry would work with partners to provide community tourism that would result in tourists getting useful information at the ICT community centres.

 “We hope that ICT will create opportunities for people in communities so that they can increase their incomes and develop quality products …. the digital economy flagships will improve the quality of life for people as a whole.

“And businesses in the next step will be able to communicate together via the online channel, which will help reduce investment costs and improve the efficiency of business.”

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