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Digital content festival seen spurring regional goals

Aug 14. 2019
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By JIRAPAN BOONNOON
THE NATION

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The Bangkok International Digital Content Festival 2019 (BIDC) is aimed at furthering the push for Thailand to become an Asian digital content hub.

Chakarin Komolsiri, assistant director general of the Department of International Trade Promotion under the Ministry of Commerce (DITP) said the event – also known as the 6th BIDC 2019 – comes under the concept of “Digital Co-creation”.

It is intended to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to meet with local and international business partners as well. The event will showcase the readiness of Thai entrepreneurs, Chakarin said.

“The BIDC will highlight capability, promote quality development of digital entrepreneurs, stimulate economic growth in line with the government policy Thailand 4.0, and create opportunities in the business of digital content industries including animation, games, characters, e-learning, computer graphics, virtual reality, including new technologies and education,” Chakarin said.

Chakarin said business matching will be a highlight of the BIDC 2019, opening an opportunity for new entrepreneurs to partner with around 40 international companies from 12 countries, including Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Finland, Poland, Spain, Hong Kong and Malaysia. These companies includes Walt Disney Company, CCTV Animation of China, Bandai Namco Studios, and Grasshopper Manufacturing.

“The business matching serves as a key mechanism to fuel growth on a continual and sustainable basis. BIDC 2018 recorded many successful business matches with a business value of Bt850 million. BIDC 2019 is expected to support growth in the overall digital content business.” Chakarin said.

He said that the department has collaborated with the private sector to create a digital content ecosystem and drive digital content in Thai market. “The department also has a role as a facilitator to drive the digital content industry in the country via business matching with both local digital content creators and international business. It also creates activities to support digital content industry, both in the domestic and international sphere, in terms of co-production. It now promotes co-production in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea,” Chakarin said.

He said that Thailand has more than 140,000 digital content creators and over 30 courses related digital content with around 3,000 students who graduated with digital content skills each year.

“We have a strategy to drive digital content by developing a digital content ecosystem, starting with leveraging courseware, developing students, business matching and conducting activities to support digital content supply chain,” said Chakarin.

He added that for the past five years, the DITP has organised business matching activities. “Thailand’s readiness to align with the government’s Creative Economy policy and its goals toward Thailand 4.0 have helped the process,” said Chakarin.

“Thailand also has a digital content hub both in the areas of animation and online games in the Asean region. The digital content industry in Thailand last year was valued at Bt30 billion and this year is expected to have a value of Bt33 billion, with growth from last year of around 10 per cent.”

Nop Thamvanich, a representative from the Thai Digital Content Industry Association, as the industry representative, said: "The BIDC 2019 represents a synergistic collaboration with all sectors, both government and industry.”

Thai Digital Content Industry Association has supported members by being an intermediary between the government and entrepreneurs in linking both parts to drive the Thai digital content industry to grow sustainably.

For example, businesses can incorporate futuristic AI technology and virtual reality, which will mark innovations in many industries.

According to DEPA, the digital content industry in Thailand this year will be valued at Bt29.358 billion, beating the Bt27.005 billion posted in 2018. The animation industry is forecast to grow by 9 per cent in 2019, while the games sector is also forecast to grow by the same amount.

In addition, Issari Damrongpitakkul, head of Stickers Line business, said this year is the first year that Line has become a part of the Bangkok International Digital Content Festival 2019. “To drive and strengthen the industry, Line Creators Market team has invited speakers who can share experiences.”

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