FACEBOOK has pledged to increase its investment in Thailand, citing its support for the country’s digital transformation with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large businesses, and the community.
Facebook Thailand managing director John Wagner said it was Facebook’s mission to lead the transformation of Thailand into a digital economy and society and to support the country’s businesses and communities to realise their digital aspirations.
Facebook will launch new programmes, partnerships, and initiatives to support the three drivers it has identified for Thailand’s transformation.
Wagner said SMEs were central to the Thai economy, carrying out 98 per cent of business, employing 70 per cent of the workforce and accounting for 40 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
Facebook has committed to offering the support programmes, included workshop and live training, online training, and chat support for SMEs.
“Facebook also see the huge opportunities from the gaps in the digital transformation among large businesses,” Wagner said. “While a lot more large Thai businesses have recognised that digital transformation is necessary, only a few of them have a digital strategy, while most of them are aware of this need but have yet acted.”
Wagner cited a finding from BCG Analysis 2018 that there are US10 billion in digital transformation opportunities in Thailand, “if businesses evolve their digital strategies to move faster and build more efficient Net experiences for customers”, he said.
Thais have created more than one million group accounts on Facebook, including those that aim to create a positive social impact.
“For example, Help Us Read is a Facebook group connecting more than 11,000 volunteers with people who are visually impaired,” Wagner said. “Run2Gether hosts running events to promote inclusivity and wellness for disabled people. And Handup Network is a community that connects social enterprises with skilled professional mentors to help them build sustainable organisations and drive their mission forward. Our journey is 1 per cent done.”
He said: “Facebook is an integral part of Thai digital society reflected in the numbers that over 51 million Thais access Facebook every month, and over 34 million Thai people access Facebook every day.”
According to the “GWI Thailand Market Report Q4 2017: Profiling Internet users”, Thais are deeply engaged in digital experiences and Thailand ranks No 1 on time spent on mobile internet daily.