Thailand 4.0 – a country reinvents its economy

View of Bangkok at night from above.

Thailand’s economic growth is impressive. In recent decades, the Southeast Asian country has been able to record stable GDP growth rates almost every year and has been able to significantly raise the standard of living of its population. In order to continue to give momentum to the economy, Thailand 4.0 is now to be launched. Four major goals are being pursued with this plan:  

  • To increase economic prosperity in the country. The average income in Thailand is to rise from a medium to a high value in international comparison thanks to a boosted economy, thus preventing the creation of an income gap in the middle class.  
  • Strengthening social justice. Through increased social assistance and a fair distribution of income and public funds, the entire society should benefit from the rise of the Thai economy.  
  • The promotion of educational programmes and institutes. Investing in Thailand’s education system will ensure that the country becomes a hotspot for innovation and progress.  
  • A focus on sustainability. In all growth measures, sustainability and environmental protection should always play an important role with a view to future generations.  

What is Thailand 4.0?  

The government-driven plan to restructure and strengthen the economy is about nothing less than Thailand’s fourth “industrial revolution”. After entering agriculture, establishing an initially light and then more developed industrial force, the focus is now to be on the sustainable development and use of the latest smart technologies. By promoting ten particularly important industries such as digital networking, robotics research, agriculture and medical technology, the country’s technological development is to be advanced and the economy helped to grow further.  

The measures associated with the concept of Thailand 4.0 are far-reaching and diverse. To strengthen the country’s international imports and exports, the creation of three new seaports is planned in addition to the massive expansion of U-Tapao airport. Cities are to be better connected, both in terms of transport and technology. Educational institutions as well as the field of research and development are to be promoted in order to further increase Thailand’s international reputation in terms of education and innovation. Last but not least, several hundred thousand new jobs are to be created to further strengthen the economy and income.  

What are the challenges?  

Since the publication of the Thailand 4.0 plans in 2016, it has become apparent that Thailand is well on its way to fulfilling its goals. A 2017 study shows that in no other country in East Asia was the acceptance of and curiosity about ‘Internet of Things’ technologies greater than here. To continue to achieve the ambitious goals of Thailand 4.0, the Thai government is trying to create many incentives. Tax breaks, an expansion of research and investments are just some of them. However, the project faces some challenges. While the limitation to the ten most important industries makes targeted promotion possible, it could limit the realisation of the economy’s full potential. In addition, delays have crept into some government projects, pushing the timeline back somewhat.  

Where to go from here  

Despite the adversities, Thailand 4.0 has the potential to give a huge boost to Thailand’s economy, further redress social inequities and prepare the country for the technological future. Part of this plan is to switch to renewable energy. This serves two important goals: To meet the Southeast Asian country’s growing demand for energy, which is increasing rapidly due to the increased use of the latest technologies in many areas of life and industry, and to fulfil its commitment to greater environmental protection and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.  

ecoligo is celebrating its entry into the Thai market with a 773 kWp solar installation that will benefit the manufacturing company Xcellent. By using the plant, the company will be able to save around 591 tonnes of CO2 annually and further expand Thailand’s pioneering position in the use of clean, renewable energy. Crowdinvestors will receive a return of 5.00% per annum.