The government will this year focus on developing what it terms “Thais 4.0”, a new breed of citizens to steer forward its Thailand 4.0 development policy.
Government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Sunday Thais 4.0, people with more knowledge, social responsibility and capabilities to use modern technology, would be the driver of Thailand 4.0.
“Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered all agencies to speed up educating people about Thai 4.0 — from students, farmers and laborers to the business and industrial sectors,” he said.
A target was set to improve awareness of the new concept in six months so it can lead to behavioral change.
Lt Gen Sansern said Gen Prayut had mentioned on several occasions what it meant to be Thais 4.0.
“These are people who can use technology to improve their incomes, create jobs and build networks. They can also create innovations that can lead to production and improved productivity,” Gen Sansern said.
“When Thais 3.0 master the technology to improve themselves, seek new knowledge and contact people around the world, they’ll become Thais 4.0. Farmers can then become smart farmers. SMEs and Otop makers become smart startups. The services sector can add value and blue-collar laborers become skilled workers,” he said.
Thailand’s development has been categorized into four phases. Thailand 1.0 was when the country was a simple agricultural society while Thailand 2.0 focused on light industries and Thailand 3.0 relies on more complex industries and exports.
Failure to develop further has resulted in the economy being stuck in the middle-income trap, with high disparities and imbalances and leading to stagnant economic growth of 3-4% over the past 10 years from 7-8% in previous decades.
To transform itself into Thailand 4.0, the country aims to tap its advantages in terms of biodiversity and cultural pluralism to enhance competitiveness through innovations and creativity in four industries — food and farm products, public health and medical technology; electronically controlled robots and machinery, digital technology and connectivity; and high-value creative industries.