Value-based economy has emerged as a new hope for Thailand, a country that has shown very little promise of rising from its several-decade-long status as a ‘developing nation’ to a ‘developed nation.’
Economists and scholars have proposed this new approach to economic reform, which is driven by scientific and technological advancement – a model that has earned support from the government and has recently been included as part of the vision for the country.
Thailand 4.0 is expected to free its citizens from the middle-income trap and systemically strengthen the economy of the country, creating an integration at all levels from smaller businesses to national-level corporates. To realize this vision, the following four components will need to be attained first.
– Economic Prosperity: This can be achieved through innovation, creativity, and technology. All sectors involved will need to recognize the significance of research and development investments. To this end, the government has planned to allocate as much as 4% of the domestic GDP to R&D activity and expects to increase this number to 5-6% within five years as well as bring the current average annual income per capita of USD 5,470 up to USD 15,000 by 2032.
– Better Quality of Life: Efforts will need to be made to reduce disparity in terms of access to facilities and converting at least 20,000 farming households to smart farming by developing technology suitable for their farming methods.
– Development of Human Resources: This will require an education reform. The government also expects to put at least five universities in the country among the world’s top 100 universities in a period of 20 years.
– Conservation of Natural Resources: In response to unceasing advances in industrial production, the idea of efficient natural resources consumption arose in the past decade. One of the targets of the Thailand 4.0 policy is to conserve the country’s resources and ensure its sustainability.
While it has yet to live up to the vision of the government, the business sector has made great strides towards a more technologically-advanced world, with the internet as the main driving force of modernization. This will propel Thailand towards a value-based economy, which holds the hope of freeing Thailand from the middle-income trap.
With the new vision of Thailand 4.0 incubated through the period of over four years, many are wondering how much that dream is shared by all, what efforts entrepreneurs have made to realize it, and most importantly, whether Thai people are prepared for a full-fledged digital era, in which technology will play the central role in leading the country’s entire economic system towards sustainable wealth, as successfully done in many countries, such as South Korea, Germany, and the United States.