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Ouch! Thailand ranked only 10th in digital nation index

Survey finds Thailand besting only Vietnam

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A digital talent shortage, fewer digital products and uncertain policies have put Thailand near the bottom of the digital nation index, says a Singapore-based advisory firm.

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Thailand ranked 10th in Asian digital rankings

Suchit Leesa-nguansuk

A digital talent shortage, fewer digital products and uncertain policies have put Thailand near the bottom of the digital nation index, says a Singapore-based advisory firm.

The findings are laid out in Digital Nation: Policy Levers for Investment and Growth 2017, a study conducted by AlphaBeta, a strategic and economic advisory.

Prepared by the Asia Internet Coalition, the report interviewed 300 academics, policymakers and multinational companies in 11 Asia-Pacific economies: Thailand, Singapore, Australia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Thailand ranked near the bottom in the overall ranking of digital nations, topping only Vietnam. Singapore scored the highest overall.

"Thailand's policy focuses more on digital economy rather than digital nation," said Fraser Thompson of AlphaBeta.

Speaking at a seminar held by the Thammasat Consulting, Networking and Coaching Centre, Mr Thompson said Thailand should shift from digital economy and put more emphasis on becoming a digital nation.

Digital economy only focuses on digital literacy and entails passively waiting for foreign direct investment, he said. Those economies only focus on broadband infrastructure improvement for universal access and regulations.

Conversely, digital nation entails programmes for workforce development and "upskilling", Mr Thompson said. This model support startups, attracts multinational digital companies and employs experimental approaches like regulatory sandboxes.

With its inconsistent policies on digital tax collection and over-the-top regulation, Thailand is less attractive than other countries, Mr Thompson said.

You can read the full story here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/1304291/thailand-ranked-10th-in-asian-digital-rankings

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