Thailand 4.0 and Phuket- the next paradise of ICT
CeBIT 2017 was about evolution, was about new technologies, new markets and ongoing developments. Here, there were some players that changed entirely our perceptions.
Before, when we thought about Thailand, we had in mind sunny beaches, blue waters, palms, coconuts, cocktails, unbelievable landscapes, impeccable services and all of them for incredible cheap prices. After CeBIT and after talking to the Thailand Board for Investment, we realized that Thailand is not just a holiday paradise but also a promising economic environment.
ICT starts growing and the Government wants to focus more on the industry, given the last strategies and figures. As an example, Thailand´s Software production value for 2016 was around 1.74 bil € with an annual growing rate of 3.89%. The e-commerce value had a growing rate of 34.65% since 2013 until now. The startup ecosystem is also growing with very positive results: in 2012 there were only 2 startups funded, in 2016 there were more than 75. Imagine relocating on a sunny beach with a very good internet connection working and developing IT services the whole day until you see the beautiful sunset letting you know that the working day has ended. The following interview was conducted in order to show you the opportunities and possibilities of making your dreams come true.
What is your reason to address the European market via CeBIT?
Actually CeBIT is a very important event in the world, especially for the ICT and we are looking to attract the European foreign investors in Thailand, because greatly we do promote Thailand 4.0 which is the new economic model through which we are trying to create a way of escaping from the middle income trap and also from the economic imbalance and this is why we move up and we think that attracting the European foreign investment is a key competency to Thailand, this is also the first step in this area so we need hints from the potential investors to develop our country and this is the main reason why we joined CeBIT this year.
Even if the focus is on starting small, there are a lot of investors from the automotive sector from Germany in Thailand, so wouldn´t be a good idea to make use of these already existing connections in the industry sector, to invite them also to have R&D, engineering, industry 4.0 activities?
Actually when we mentioned the Thailand 4.0 this is almost the same concept with Industry 4.0 as in Germany but the target industry is ICT. To explain how this concept looks for us we divided the sector into 10 different industries in 2 different areas. So 5 target industries that we are focusing on are the traditional industry where Thai people have more abilities and knowledge to compete against other countries and the other 5 target industries are the ones that we would like to move further with and ICT is one of those. We think and we promote the fact that ICT can be integrated in every other industry in Thailand, it´s not just the automotive industry as mentioned, there will be also the robotics and automation and many others.
Now as a recommendation: So if there will be a enterprise, SME or startup what should be done as a first step in order to discover those unlimited opportunities in Thailand?
The answer for this question is quite easy: they will have first of all to contact the Thailand Board of Investment in Frankfurt because you have the chance to contact partners directly from Frankfurt so why not to take advantage from this instead of going to Thailand. We want to avoid any waste of time and for this here me and my colleagues are helping the companies from Germany to explore the markets in Thailand and I would like to extend my own invitation to our German investors:
go and visit Thailand in this case you can see the potential and the opportunities that Thailand can offer as a country choice.
One question for the colleagues from the private sector: What about human resources, do you find enough and good developers for the companies interested to expand in Thailand?
We have a lot of Human Resources, but some problems can come up from the fact that they are not really good in English, the same what is happening with the German language and that means that most of the Thai people are working local and not global. But we are in the middle as an intermediate, we are here a satellite to bring the locals into a global approach.
So you would recommend an intermediary or bridge builder to remove this gap between those two languages.
Yes, it´s about the language but not about the skill. Today we came to CeBIT because we would like to promote Phuket as a smart city concept. And the human resource is very strong in Thailand, not only in ICT but also in other industries.