Thai cabinet approves digital economy plans

National digital strategies get official green light.

Thailand’s Cabinet has officially approved two plans on Digital Economy and Digital Government for the next three years, government spokesperson Major-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd announced this week. Agencies have now been asked to submit their own plans to get budgets for delivery of digital projects. Digital economy is the first phase of the country’s 20-year Digital Thailand plan, prioritising rural infrastructure. 30,000 villages will get broadband connections, including free WiFi for 10,000. The government will also set up 600 digital community centres where people will be a trained. The Cabinet earlier approved the Ministry of ICT to spend THB 3.7 billion (US$105 million) on digital projects this year. The Ministry is being restructured to become the Digital Economy and Society Minister, and will lead the plan. The second plan approved by the Cabinet will revamp the country’s public services. The government is bringing together services onto a single government portal, starting with business registrations. Citizens will not need to take documents from one government office to another to start a business. They will have a smart card for transactions across agencies and will access all services for starting and running a business on one website. The government will require agencies to share data with each other to allow for such integrated services to come into place. It will also launch big data pilots this year to encourage agencies to use data to make decisions, starting with the Ministry of Agriculture and Department of Highway. Read more: The Future of Thailand’s Digital Services Image by Prachanart Viriyaraks, licensed under CC BY 2.0