R&D investment in Thailand likely to be affected by pandemic hinh anh 1A view of Bangkok capital city of Thailand (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Investment in research and development (R&D) in Thailand this year is forecast to drop to 1.09 percent of GDP from the previously estimated 1.45 percent due to COVID-19.

The country’s Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council said R&D investment in 2019 was 182 billion THB, or 1.11 percent of GDP, which had been previously predicted to rise to 1.45 percent in 2020.

However, due to the COVID-19 situation, the office lowered the estimate to 166 billion THB, or 1.09 percent of GDP in 2020, and 195 billion THB, or 1.23 percent of GDP, in 2021.

R&D investment is still capable of reaching the goal of 2 percent of GDP within 2027, the office said, noting that to achieve this goal, the government must provide investment stimulus measures from now on and prevent the outbreak situation from escalating, which will diminish investor confidence.

The office also estimated that by the end of 2020, industries with highest R&D investment budgets will be food (15.02 billion THB), automotive (14.93 billion THB) and petroleum (10.67 billion THB).

Of the R&D investment in 2019, 78 percent or 142.9 billion THB came from the private sector, while only 22 percent or 39.38 billion THB came from government agencies./.