ETDA to kickstart new strategy to boost Thailand’s digital standing
Thailand's Electronic Transaction Development Agency (ETDA)’s strategy is to boost the digital economy to 30% of the GDP and make Thailand one of the top 30 countries in digital competitiveness by 2027.
Chaichana Mitrpant, ETDA director, told the press on Friday that this 30:30 scheme is part of a five-year national strategic plan that will kick off next year.
The strategy will see ETDA working with all stakeholders, including government agencies and the private sector, particularly small and medium-sized businesses and digital service providers, he said.
He said the first step will be to implement the use of digital IDs nationwide, adding that some government agencies and businesses are already using this system.
Hence, he said, ETDA’s task will be to create an ecosystem that facilitates more widespread use of digital IDs.
He added that ETDA will also provide a “digital citizen” course to the general public as well as create community training coaches to assist ETDA in spreading knowledge to people in remote areas.
Chaichana also said nearly everybody in Thailand has had some exposure to digital technology, though most people have a limited understanding of it. This lack of comprehensive knowledge, he said, can cause damage or loss.
“As a result, it is essential for us to arm Thais with adequate digital literacy. They need to shift from being just common users to learning how to use digital technology to improve their skills and open up new opportunities,” he said.
Another pressing issue that ETDA plans to address next year is the setting up of regulations for all digital platform operators in Thailand to follow.
He said all these regulations should be enacted into law next year.
The most important rule, he said, would be to ensure that all local and foreign platforms providing services in Thailand are registered with ETDA.
Anything that allows two people to meet and transact online is a platform and must be registered with the ETDA, he reiterated.
“The agency has the authority to immediately suspend services and punish the platform owner with jail and/or fine,” Chaichana said.
He went on to say that though the ETDA is speeding up some organic laws, it is also soliciting input from relevant agencies as there are some sensitive issues to be concerned about.
He said this will help boost the country’s digital competitiveness rather than pose more challenges.
Chaichana added that more details of the action plan will be released in February next year.