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Shocking Rise of Thailand’s Digital Frontier: Global Domination or Economic Bubble?

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In a report released by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), a deep dive into Thailand’s thriving digital content economy takes center stage. The report is an exhaustive compilation of data, evaluations, and insights, encapsulating the pulse of the Thai digital content industry in the past year, covering areas like video games, animation, character design, and predicting trends for the next three years.

Depa, in collaboration with the Digital Content Association of Thailand (DCAT), the Thai Animation and Computer Graphics Association (TACGA), Thai Game Software Industry Association (TGA), Bangkok ACM SIGGRAPH and Atwise Consulting Co Ltd, developed this insightful report.

During a panel discussion, representatives from a variety of business associations within the Thai digital content industry encouraged government officials to invest efforts in upgrading skills among individual specialists in digital content creation. Such initiatives, they claimed, hold the potential to bolster Thailand’s soft power and stimulate economic expansion.

These business-minded individuals also gave their insights into Thailand’s ambitious plans to leverage the digital content sector as a driving force in soft power. Current lifestyles and advancements in digital technology’s vital roles in steering the expansion of digital content were underlined during this conversation.

There’s a consensus that although Thailand houses a sizable pool of talents skilled in digital content creation, it is essential to provide opportunities to upgrade these talents to meet global standards. By driving comprehensive campaigns, they noted that Thailand’s soft power could serve as a catalyst for sustained economic growth.

Depa’s Strategy and Security Senior Executive Vice President, Kasititorn Pooparadai, declared that the agency and its partners are whole-heartedly committed to leading the implementation of strategic directions and initiatives that conform to the government’s blueprint for digital development as per the National Economic and Social Development Plan.

The recent depa report reveals that although the overall digital content industry experienced a 4% growth in 2022, the gaming sector saw a contraction. The gaming sector is a primary player in the digital content industry, contributing towards 85% of the total industry value, amounting to 40,518 million baht.

Kasititorn underscored the gaming industry as harbouring a lot more than just potential in creating top-notch and innovative gaming experiences. It opens doors to investment opportunities in GameFi (Game Finance) and Game NFT (Non-Fungible Token), attracting players and entrepreneurs from various industries.

However, the report also highlighted that rapid technological advancements brought along with them a marked shortage of a skilled workforce. Furthermore, entrepreneurs’ limited access to investment capital and funding supplies has been a significant impediment to sector growth.

Despite these challenges, Thailand’s animation industry achieved a growth of 15% last year. With the total value directed at 3.94 billion baht, the country has become a significant outsourcing hub for animation, Computer Graphics (CG) and Visual Effects (VFX) projects.

The report put the animation industry’s value in 2022 at 2.61 billion baht, marking a steady 21% growth from 2020. Thailand’s animation, CG and VFX industry are widely recognized for their talented workforce, who have a combination of excellent technical and creative abilities.

By 2025, the digital content industry is forecasted to hit a total value of 44.98 billion baht. This data, believes depa’s Vice President Kasititorn, would be beneficial for businesses planning and adaptation in response to Thailand’s continually shifting internal and external environment.

Furthermore, Kasititorn expects that the report’s findings will be instrumental in identifying economic opportunities arising from emergent technologies while integrating the concept of soft power in the Thai digital content industry. True to her commitment, she pledged to partner with the private sector to devise initiatives ranging from grooming young talents for the industry to advancing entrepreneurial capabilities and expanding global market reach.

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