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Internet of Things can boost Thailand’s economy given the right ecosystem

Internet of Things can boost Thailand’s economy given the right ecosystem

An announcement
made by The Nation highlighted how establishing the right ecosystem is
essential in order for IoT to take off in any ASEAN country. If Thailand were
to maximise its benefits, then it should focus its IoT solutions to the sector
that contributes the largest to its economy, which is manufacturing.

The Thailand 4.0 policy has highlighted
opportunities and investment trends in 10 targeted industries which are divided
into two broad categories.

The first 5 S-Curve industries include
general automotive, intelligent electronics, advanced agriculture and
biotechnology, food processing, and tourism. The country’s competitiveness in
this group can be enhanced by building on its current strengths with the use of
technological innovation.

In order to accelerate Thailand’s new
industrial growth base, the five new S-Curve industries that should be focused
on are digital, robotics and automation, aviation and logistics, biofuels and
biochemicals, and medical hubs.

Industrial enterprises are the largest contributor
to Thailand’s economy. CEO of Asia IoT Business Platform
Mr Irza Suprapto said that Thailand should focus on IoT solutions for is sector
that contribute the largest to its economy, which is manufacturing. The
government has identified that potential and is making both hard and soft
investments to ramp up companies along the technological curve.

Mr Suprapto said, “The enterprises under
the industrial verticals are most advanced in exploring and/or implementing IoT
solutions.”

With these investments and developments,
the IoT industry in Thailand is expected to be worth US$1 billion (Bt33
billion) by 2020.

The most obvious potential for Thai
enterprises implementing IoT solutions lies in productivity gains. Thailand has
trailed behind its ASEAN neighbours in improving productivity, which can be
solved by proper adoption of IoT solutions as this should help enterprises
bridge this gap.

Not only that, but increased productivity
would also make Thailand a more attractive location for foreign investments.

Mr Suprapto added the importance of establishing
the right ecosystem if IoT implementation is to take off in any ASEAN country.
The four key stakeholders within an ecosystem are governments,
telecommunications companies, solution providers and local enterprises.

Governments can create the right ecosystem by
crafting policies that increase the solution options available to enterprises.
They are also responsible for providing both financial and non-financial
support.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and
Society was formed to track how digital transformation projects
affect the growth of both the economy and the society. The digital sector has
to target 25% contribution to Thailand’s GDP as set by the Ministry.

The role of the telecommunications
companies is to guarantee strong and reliable connectivity, whether Low Power
Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) or traditional bandwidth.

Large solution providers target each ASEAN
country differently. ASEAN economies continue to outpace global growth rates.
Thus, the larger technology vendors have started to commit additional resources
to increase their product and service offerings in the region.

Local enterprises need an ecosystem that encourages
them to make investments in IoT and the three aforementioned stakeholders will
play key roles in providing the impetus for ASEAN enterprises to adopt IoT
solutions.

“IoT implementation isn’t the same as a
traditional enterprise IT product purchase decision,” said Mr Suprapto.

He added, “And enterprises need to invest a
fair bit of resources to adopt IoT successfully.”

He explained, “Having supportive policies,
strong connectivity infrastructure and leading-edge technology minimises the
risks business leaders are exposed to in adopting IoT projects.”

Mr
Suprapto furthered, “Southeast Asia cannot be ignored, as overall economic
growth is expected to remain strong over the next few years.”

He concluded, “IoT is not a problem which
can be solved with a one-size-fits-all solution. Business models will have to
adapt. This starts with having in-depth, honest discussions among stakeholders.
And that is what we aim to provide.”

An earlier
announcement highlighted a survey conducted by Asia IoT Business Platform
wherein Thailand led among the ASEAN countries with the most number of
enterprises that are exploring and/or implementing IoT to boost their
productivity and innovation.

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