By THE NATION
Minister Suvit Maesincee said that if things go as planned, the BCG sector's GDP will surge to Bt4.4 trillion in next five years from the current Bt3.4 trillion. The value could reach Bt6.5 trillion in 2030, he added.
The ministry has joined with related state agencies and private firms in drawing up plans to promote BCG in the following seven fields.
1. Agriculture: This includes the development of smart farmers and tax incentives to encourage smart farming. The goals are to make Thailand one of the world's top 10 exporters and boost farming income to Bt240,000 per household per year. It aims to boost the GDP of the farm sector to Bt400 billion in the next five years.
2. Food sector: The development will focus on the functional food industry and functional food ingredient industry as well as medical food. It aims to boost GDP in the food sector to Bt300 billion in the next five years and reduce food industry waste to 15 per cent from the current 30 per cent by 2024 and to 10 per cent by 2030.
3. Energy and biochemical sectors: The plan will promote the use of ethanol, the use of a smart national electricity grid, and the introduction of a Green tax. It will set up the centre and fund for the bio-refinery industry and integrated bio-products. These will add value to farm products and stabilise the price of sugar cane and palm oil.
4. Medical supplies and vaccines. The ministry will set up a fund to support R&D of medicines and vaccines. It will also promote the Genomics Thailand project. It aims to boost GDP in the medicine and vaccine sector to Bt90 billion in next five years from the present Bt40 billion and cut public healthcare costs by Bt70 billion per year. To achieve these goals, the government will support R&D ranging from work in labs to clinical trials, and amend some vaccine procurement rules.
5. Medical equipment: The ministry will set up a fund to develop equipment standards and an institute to certify the standards of the medical technology and medical equipment innovations.
6. The tourism sector and creative economy sector: The plan includes the support of Thai digital platforms to promote tourism.
The plan will promote northern provinces as the “luxury retirement centre of Asia” to draw long stay-tourists and high-income, aged tourists worldwide.
It will also promote Thailand as Asia's creative-content production hub.
The plans aims to boost GDP in these two sectors to Bt300 billion in the next five years.
7. Circular economy: It will draw up a law to recycle waste and plastic packaging, promote knowledge of the circular economy and waste separation, and promote the use of farm waste such as rice straw and sugar cane leaves.