Pichet
Pichet

Digital economy master plan among tech projects approved

Economy September 07, 2017 01:00

By JIRAPAN BOONNOON
THE NATION

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THE DIGITAL Economy and Society Committee has approved the National Digital Economy Master Plan, the National e-Commerce Master Plan and a plan to develop seven smart cities around the country. Digital Economy and Society Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said both master plans cover the five years from 2017-21.



The plans aim to usher the country into the Thailand 4.0 era and break the country free from the middle-income trap. 

With the e-Commerce Plan, the ministry will order Thailand Post to provide e-payment and e-logistics services so that grassroots people and small and medium-sized enterprises in communities nationwide can distribute their products via an e-marketplace and expand their customer base. 

The committee also assigned the ministry to set up and supervise seven smart cities in the country to support the digital economy. 

The government and the private sector are already developing smart cities in four provinces – Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen. 

The three new provinces to host smart cities are in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) development zone – Rayong, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao. 

The government will invite international companies from technology leaders such as Japan, the US, Europe and China to invest in innovation and new technologies, including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and data centres, in the EEC. 

That would help spawn smart manufacturers in the EEC and underpin the Thailand 4.0 scheme. 

Next week some 500 Japanese firms will come to Thailand and visit the EEC. 

They will explore opportunities to invest in Thailand. The EEC’s smart city projects will apply the same technology that was successful in Phuket. 

For example, the smart tourism Phuket model would be the basis for the new smart city Pattaya project in Chon Buri.

The committee approved the increase in mobile phone and fixed-line numbers from 9 digits to 10 digits. 

The ministry will inform the new numbering scheme to the International Telecommunication Union in a couple months so that it will be up and running within three years. 

The country now has 250 million telephone numbers in use and about 50 |million numbers remaining for new registration.

 It will have 500 million telephone numbers with the 10-digit numbering plan.

The existing 13-digit personal ID number will double as the Smart Health ID number for access to healthcare services. 

Telemedicine will be implemented to serve people and patients in rural and remote areas. 

The ministry will set up 10 pilot telemedicine projects this year in rural areas like Tak province. 

The government has joined with Advanced Information Service (AIS) to provide an online application, known as AorSorMor, for public health.

The move is in accordance with the Thailand 4.0 policy that leverages information technology to benefit society in many ways and improve people’s lives, which is in line with the government’s digital development objective to contribute positively to Thailand’s economy and society. 

The corporation will create a pool of 200,000-staff for AorSorMor-linked primary healthcare centres nationwide. 

AIS expects that no matter where villagers live, they can reach out to doctors for medical assistance anytime.