Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Covid-19 to hit investment in research and development in 2020

Jul 20. 2020
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By THE NATION

The Covid-19 situation will cause investment in research and development in 2020 to dip from 1.45 per cent of gross domestic product to 1.09 per cent of GDP, the Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council reported.

“R&D investment in 2019 was Bt182 billion, or 1.11 per cent of GDP, and we had previously estimated that it could rise to 1.45 per cent in 2020,” said the office. “However due to the Covid-19 situation, we have to lower the estimate to Bt166 billion, or 1.09 per cent of GDP in 2020, and Bt195 billion, or 1.23 per cent of GDP, in 2021.”

The office is positive that R&D investment is still capable of reaching the goal of 2 per cent of GDP within 2027. “To achieve this goal, the government must provide investment stimulus measures from now on and prevent the outbreak situation from escalating, which will diminish investor confidence,” it said.

The office also estimated that by the end of 2020, industries that have accumulated highest investment budgets will be food (Bt15.02 billion), automotive (Bt14.93 billion) and petroleum (Bt10.67 billion).

As for the R&D investment in 2019, 78 per cent -- Bt142.9 billion -- came from the private sector, while only 22 per cent -- Bt39.38 billion -- came from government agencies.

There were 159,507 personnel working in R&D, with 67 per cent, or 106,870 persons, in the private sector while 33 per cent, or 52,637 people, work in the public sector. The ratio of R&D personnel to the total population is 24 per 10,000 people.

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