Illustrative image (Source: internet)

Bangkok (NNT/VNA) - Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has said Thailand must transform itself into a technology and innovation-driven economy to prepare for the decreasing role of manual labour. 

He chaired the opening of the CEO Innovation Forum 2018 under the title “Transforming Thailand Towards Science & Technology Frontier," which was organised at Queen Sirikit Convention Center by the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI). 

In his keynote address, Somkid said science and technology play an ever-increasing role in the economy and society, and the country must therefore stimulate science and technology investment.

Over the past two years, Thailand's annual GDP growth rate increased from 2.8 percent to 4 percent. There are signs of further growth, due mainly to the tourism and export sectors, as well as domestic and foreign investments. 

The government's Thailand 4.0 agenda focuses on economic mobility using science, technology, and innovation to coincide with rapid changes in science and technology trends, such as changes in raw materials and production streamlining.

According to the deputy premier, the Ministry of Science and Technology is drafting policies to support ecosystems that foster innovation and S-curve industries. 

STI Secretary-General Kitipong Promwong said this year, his office will announce the latest statistics on investment in research and development (R&D). Last year, R&D investment topped 100 billion baht or 0.78 percent of national GDP. Kitipong expressed confidence that the number will continue to grow to over 160 billion THB or 1 percent of GDP this year.-VNA