Ministry calls for greater mobility of ICT workforce
Increasing government spending and a highly skilled ICT workforce as well as fully implementing telecommunications infrastructure reform will be critical to the success of the government's digital economy policy, say a panel of industry experts.
Encouraging a new source of funding for tech start-ups will also help encourage investment in new technology and innovation.
ICT permanent secretary Methini Thapmani said the digital economy policy was likely to boost the government's ICT spending and make its budget spending more effective.
State agencies account for 20 billion of the 600 billion baht in Thailand's annual ICT spending, Ms Methini said after her welcome speech at a seminar entitled "The ICT Ministry and National Reform" hosted yesterday by the Association of Thai ICT Industry.
She said Thailand needed to increase its capabilities to export its own IT-related products and services including ICT workers if the state wanted to transform the country into a digitally empowered economy and society.
The ICT Ministry is working closely with the Thailand Professional Qualification Institute to provide a framework to clarify the practice and requirements for ICT professionals applying for certification in five areas of professional practice — systems analysis, network and systems administration, ICT project management, information systems and network security, and enterprise architecture design and software development.
"This will facilitate the mobility of the workforce across the region in preparation for the Asean Economic Community in 2015 and in line with the ICT master plan for 2014-18," Ms Methini said.
The master plan is aimed at increasing the certified workforce by 10% to 300,000 by 2018.
Charnitr Charnchainarong, executive vice-president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said the bourse was working with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to draft a law governing crowdfunding — the practice of funding a project or venture by raising contributions from a large number of people.
Crowdfunding is a new way to raise funds with no requirement for filing with the SEC, he said.
Mr Charnitr said it provided an opportunity for entrepreneurs to raise money from individual investors, allowing creative and talented people to grow their businesses locally instead of going abroad to obtain funding.
Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, president of the Thai E-Commerce Association, said the digital economy required strong public-private collaboration.