THE Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) aims to provide training for about 1.2 million workers for an e-commerce workforce that can help steer the transformation of 200,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into e-commerce operations by the end of this year.
The agency’s announcement comes ahead of the expected approval from the Cabinet this week of two laws that will hasten the country’s digital transformation and boost e-commerce. Surangkana Wayuparb, executive director of ETDA, said that the agency would help the operators of these SMEs to open up online channels for their traditional businesses.
To drive the growth in e-commerce, the agency will develop e-commerce Big Data and online consumer protection in order to support online shoppers. It also plans to establish an e-commerce park as a Thai version of Silicon Valley to back these ambitions. Surangkana said the agency’s responsibilities will increase under the new Electronic Transactions Act and build a better balance between regulations and the promotion of digital service businesses.
ETDA will function as the secretariat of the Electronic Transactions Committee to prepare the Electronic Transaction Strategic Plan and the Infrastructure Standards Development Plan, regulate business related to electronic transactions, and analyse and certify a variety of standards.
“ETDA might become entangled with other organisations supervising open government and data sharing, including public information disclosure,” she said. “ETDA, as a digital transformation facilitator, will be the organisation which supports the use of innovation for electronic transactions in management and services by the public and private sectors.” She said that ETDA will explore digital technologies, devise recommendations as well as “develop prototypes and sandboxes so that the management of public and private organisations can ensure that services remain effective, efficient, secure, reliable, appropriate, and convenient to users in the ecosystem”.
The agency forecast that the e-commerce market in Thailand this year will grow more than 10 per cent. The sector in Thailand grew the most among Asean countries last year, due to changes in consumer behaviour. The value of the sector is expected to hit Bt3.2 trillion.
Surangkana said she was confident that the Cabinet would approve the Personal Data Protection Bill and the Cybersecurity Bill today.
She said the legislation would help to drive e-commerce and digital transformation in the country with the support of the state and private sectors. The agency expects that the laws will take effect by May.