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Reducing the barriers to Thailand 4.0


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OPINION

Reducing the barriers to Thailand 4.0
By Suwatchai Songwanich 
Chief executive Officer, 
Bangkok Bank (China)

 

BANGKOK: -- When the government’s new economic model, “Thailand 4.0”, was announced last year it signalled an ambitious new era for the country.

 

Following on from Thailand 1.0 (agricultural focus), Thailand 2.0 (domestic production), and Thailand 3.0 (developing complex industries to grow our export market), it is seen as a way of escaping the risk of a middle-income trap characterised by rising wage costs and the loss of a competitive edge. 

 

Thailand 4.0 focuses on a creative, digititalised, and innovation-driven economy. 

 

This is a real opportunity to change the way we do things in Thailand, and to use digitalisation to increase our efficiency, improve productivity and break down any obstacles in our way.

 

However, to use just one very simple example, as a frequent traveller between China, Thailand and Hong Kong I note that our immigration bureau is the only one that still requires local citizens and long-term residents (including foreigners with right of abode) to fill in paper immigration forms when entering and exiting the country/territory. 

 

Hong Kong has long permitted travellers who had passed through its airport no fewer than 3 times in the preceding 12 months to enroll for e-Channel immigration service.

 

While the Thai government, like all other governments, may wish to record information about people crossing the country’s borders, we could certainly digitalise this process to save physical resources and time. It’s important that we remain open to changing laws and procedures, even if “that’s how they’ve always been”. 

 

Changing the status quo

 

This is only one small example, but the mentality that resists changing the status quo could actually be our key hindrance. If we aren’t able to remove an obstacle as simple and logical as an immigration form, how can we really achieve the lofty aspirations of a hyper-innovative Thailand 4.0?

 

Although we have some way to go, it’s important to note that Thailand has certainly made exciting progress as it has moved through its various economic models. In fact, Thailand is now sitting at 55th out of 178 countries in The Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Economic Freedom Index, having moved up by 20 places since 2015. 

 

This index uses indicators such as trade, the labour market, and government spending to rank a country’s economic openness, and we should be pleased with our recent improvement. 

 

It is certainly heartening to see progress like this because it speaks volumes about Thailand’s ability to evolve and thrive. 

 

But I do wonder what more can be done to digititalise our domestic systems, so that outdated thinking doesn’t end up as a barrier to progress. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/opinion/30311850

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-04-10
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They want creativity and innovation?

Perhaps they should begin by allowing children to ask questions in school and celebrate individuality once and a while.

Can't be innovative when that sort of thing is beaten out of you by second grade.

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"Thailand 4.0 focuses on a creative, digititalised, and innovation-driven economy."

 

 This all very well and fine if you are living in 2017 and not 1917.

 

Their idea of innovation is overthrowing an elected government they don't agree with. 

Edited by jaltsc
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1 hour ago, canuckamuck said:

They want creativity and innovation?

Perhaps they should begin by allowing children to ask questions in school and celebrate individuality once and a while.

Can't be innovative when that sort of thing is beaten out of you by second grade.

my thoughts exactly...cheers

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1 hour ago, canuckamuck said:

They want creativity and innovation?

Perhaps they should begin by allowing children to ask questions in school and celebrate individuality once and a while.

Can't be innovative when that sort of thing is beaten out of you by second grade.

excellent comment.  but there's another little thingy in the way.

to be creative you first must 'get up to speed'..... this applies to everyone.... you need to learn what we all know and have discovered to date... and then add something to that...to do that...

 

instead of dissing and copying IP..... books.....

you have to do some reading.  R E A D I N G.  whether it's with a "smartphone".... a Kindle thing..... or paper made from trees and sitting on a shelf at a local library... or maybe even a blog site.. as long as it's not just regurgitating the same old nonsense going around and around.... 

but yeah, asking questions... even answering them but not by rote... giving examples in class....  sharing what you read on your own and not what everyone else was identically required to read (and memorize without questioning it)... is a problemo that no longer works in a world where not just chimpanzees have thumbs and AI is on the verge.. finally..... or getting somewhere... and fast.  very very fast.

 

Edited by maewang99
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Interesting you use immigration as an example;

"I note that our immigration bureau is the only one that still requires local citizens and long-term residents (including foreigners with right of abode) to fill in paper immigration forms when entering and exiting the country/territory. "

 

Just how much paper is used every time you go to immigration for a repetitive process???

90 day reports slip produced on computer yet you still have to fill in the paper, get the copies even when nothing has changed, visa extensions etc just huge amounts of photocopy time.

Even the TM30 on line submission for hoteliers is no longer available and a paper copy required. All a fantasy or

There has to be a kick back for photocopies somewhere...

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They are largely clueless and like to use words that sound important.    All good for chest beating and bullshit purposes when in reality the country just cannot move forward as its feet are nailed to the floor by its feudal patronage system.   When the Elite control (via the Army) peoples ability to be able to be 'creative' and 'innovative' then how is proper progress possible? 

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