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Thai internet economy to triple in size to Bt1.6trn by 2025: Google


Google forecasts Thailand’s internet economy will almost triple in size by 2025, from US$18 billion to $53 billion (Bt549 billion-Bt1.6 trillion).

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The findings come in the latest e-Conomy SEA Report 2020, which tracks the growth of online economies in Southeast Asia.

The report reveals the region’s internet economy is set to cross $100 billion in 2020, with 40 million people coming online for the first time this year, bringing the number of internet users in Southeast Asia to 400 million.

It estimates that by 2025, the region’s internet economy will surpass $300 billion, with Thailand accounting for $53 billion of that total and second only to Indonesia.

Despite the Covid-19 crisis, Thailand’s internet economy has grown 7 per cent from last year and is projected to reach $18 billion in 2020.

The report shows that e-commerce is the main driver of Thailand’s online economy.

Thai e-commerce has grown at 81 per cent since last year to reach $9 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase to $24 billion by 2025.

Online media (advertising, gaming, video/music on demand) in Thailand also continues to grow at 20 per cent since last year to reach $4 billion and is set to reach $7 billion by 2025.

The report also shows how Thais’ online habits have changed during Covid-19.

Thais spent an average 3.7 hours online per day (for personal use) pre-Covid, which spiked to 4.6 hours at the height of lockdowns, and now rests at 4.3 hours per day.

The report reveals the exponential growth of digital consumers during lockdowns. Thirty per cent of all digital service consumers in Thailand were new, with 95 per cent of these new consumers intending to continue their behaviour post-Covid.

Online transport and food in Thailand declined 12 per cent to $1.1 billion in 2020, despite growth in online food delivery. However, it is projected to grow 45 per cent to $7 billion in 2025.

Online travel (flights, hotels, vacation rentals) in Thailand, which has been hit hard by COVID-19, is valued at $4 billion in 2020, dropping 47 per cent from 2019. It is projected to grow to $15 billion by 2025.

Meanwhile, consumers and SMEs have adopted digital financial services like never before. Aside from lending, digital payment gross transaction value (GTV) in Southeast Asia is $620 million in 2020. This is an increase of $20 million over the previous year. It is expected to grow to $1.2 billion by 2025.

New to this year’s research are two emerging sectors – HealthTech and EdTech – that have rapidly accelerated during Covid-19.

"This year’s report shows that the internet sector has become stronger than ever. However, it is important to keep working on key barriers to growth in which talent remains a pressing need," said Jackie Wang, country director of Google Thailand.

The e-Conomy SEA Report 2020 was released by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company.

Published : November 10, 2020

By : The Nation