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Thailand and World Bank to collaborate on promotion of digital economy

Bangkok, February 26, 2018 —Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) and the World Bank today agreed to jointly undertake activities that will promote awareness of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Thailand and adopt digital transformation in public and private sectors.
The announcement was made during a seminar attended by more than 150 representatives from the Thai government, international organizations, businesses, NGOs and the media, to launch the recent World Bank report, The Internet of Things: The New Government-to-Business Platform.
“Internet of Things plays a key role in our daily lives. Recognizing the importance of IoT in creating digital innovation that will boost productivity and improve individual lives, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) has endeavored to promote the development of the IoT in Thailand through various initiatives, said H.E. Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister, MDES.   
“The Internet of Things is not just a hype. We view it as one of the most exciting pieces of technology of the decade, which will help catalyze digital transformation in public and private sectors in Thailand. Therefore, we need to raise awareness of IoT in all sectors by providing a networking forum so we all can meet and discuss opportunities offered by this technology as well as ways to allow IoT work for Thais.” said Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, the President and CEO of DEPA Thailand.

DEPA, an operating arm of the MDES, aims to promote the development of digital industry and innovation as well as the adoption of digital technology in all sectors in Thailand.  It is entrusted to establish the IoT Institute which will help create a healthy IoT ecosystem in the country. Through this seminar, the Institute marks its first step in promoting the development and adoption of this exciting technology.   

It is a pleasure for the World Bank to partner with Thailand on making digital technologies and Internet of Things work for the benefit of all,” said Shabih A. Mohib, the Bank’s Program Leader for Equitable Growth, Finance & Institutions, in Thailand.

“IoT has significant potential, but it requires systematic, informed work by the government, private sector, and civil society.  I hope this study will help examine the progress made in Thailand and encourage further thinking and discussions among policymakers and the private sector on the social and economic impacts of leveraging IoT applications.,” said Prasanna Lal Das, lead author of the report.

IoT refers to a digital system involving connected devices that gather data through sensors, transmit it over networks, and generate analytics; in some cases, adapting behavior and responses based on local conditions. Examples of IoT are Global Positioning System (GPS) devices that track and provide real-time transit updates; sensors mounted on lampposts that measure and share pollution data; and smart thermostats, which adjust home temperatures based on people’s routine, helping cut heating and cooling bills.
According to the report – the first to examine the progress made by governments incorporating Internet of Things (or IoT) within their functions – many governments are eager to use IoT to better serve people, despite the obstacles of taking initiatives beyond the pilot stage. The business models to sustain IoT infrastructure could be developed further, and the policy landscape could be improved.  Policy recommendations include:

  • Improving the knowledge and familiarity of most government agencies of IoT and its relevance to their immediate functions;
  • Translating “hype to reality” and preparing ‘toolkits’ on how to implement initiatives that include IoT components;
  • Disseminating “lessons” from peers, as many agencies are keen to learn about initiatives in other countries, and what had worked or had not.