Nothing short of a digital revolution is taking its course in Thailand, driven by the nation’s embrace of technology and innovation. The digital voraciousness of all Thai citizens regardless of age or occupation, is part of a bigger attempt to propel the nation towards as compared to a vital frontier of future growth and prosperity, according to a ground-breaking research study.
This study is a wake-up call to the monumental shift in digital adoption, showcasing substantial improvements over the years. As reported by the ever-committed Permanent Secretary Wisit Wisitsora, internet accessibility rates across Thai households witnessed a discernible uptick from 88% in 2022 to a staggering 89.50% this year. Alongside, connectivity rates also surged from 85% last year to a laudable 87.60% today.
Despite the impressive statistics, the digital landscape is not devoid of issues with an alarming 14.52% of users reporting instances of data and privacy breaches. Bridging this chasm will inevitably require concerted effort.
A bright highlight, however, is the swift rise in Internet usage amongst the older generation, aging between 55-74. Their involvement rocketed from a modest 63.10% in 2022 to a considerable 71.6% this year. Similarly, Thai businesses have seen an uptick in cross-border e-commerce engagements, leaping to 31.53% from a mere 26.29% in 2022.
The vibrant digital sector’s enigmatic pull is seen in its growing employee base, representing a pleasing 35.96% of the total workforce this year, a progression from last year’s 34.40%. Testament to this trajectory, research unearthed that a promising 0.93% of the nation’s GDP in 2022, resonating with a colossal 40% escalation in the digital business sector’s worth.
Findings from this year’s survey unveiled a few sparkling jewels – an attenuated dip in Internet accessibility to 6.5% and a mounting growth in public service recipients touching a mighty 66.17%. Expanding digital access and ever-growing Digital Government services, offered by 75.92% of administrative agencies, were crafty contributors to this upward trend.
Simultaneously, an average Thai citizen’s digital engagement reflects a mean of 7 hours and 25 minutes online daily. A vast array of activities spanning social media interactions to communication and indulging in video content, highlighted the digital spectrum. A prominent surge in online demand for consumer-driven products and services, such as fashion, delivery services, and entertainment, was also noted.
Thailand’s digital frontier is dominated by medium to large business enterprises. Still, the digital workforce’s growing significance has seen the inclusion of more digital nomads to substitute labor shortages. There is an anticipated surge in future digital skill demands, though the threat from cold call and SMS scams looms large.
Offering his industry insights, The Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission (ONDE), Putchapong Nodthaisong emphasized adherence to international standards set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in their Internet usage data survey. The hope is that broadening studies will pave the way for future sector-specific indicators and foster greater understanding of Thailand’s unique digital environment.
Mapping strengths and weaknesses, drawing global comparisons and unearthing prominent growth limitations will aid in devising robust strategies for digital advancement. The study aims to build a treasure trove of pivotal digital indicators to be leveraged for the overall benefit of all sectors, thus keeping Thailand on track for an exciting digital future.