Nation ranks 40th in digital evolution

Thailand is pressing ahead with its digital economy policy but still ranks low in terms of how successfully it has made the digital jump, a new survey shows.

The country ranked 40th out of 60 in the Digital Evolution Index 2017 (DEI) compiled by the Fletcher School at Tufts University in partnership with Mastercard.

IT industry experts said the country must focus on improving regulatory frameworks, public trust and insufficiently skilled and shrinking workforce to accelerate this digital transformation as the country moves to embrace a new economic model dubbed Thailand 4.0.

The index measures four key drivers — internet access; consumer demand in digital technology; the institutional environment, such as government policy, laws and resources; and innovation, including investment in research, and digital start-ups — and 170 unique indicators.

The DEI study characterised countries as belonging to one of four groups.

Stand Out: These countries demonstrate high levels of digital development while continuing to lead in innovation and new growth. Singapore, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Hong Kong, Japan and Israel are in this group.

Stall Out: Many developed countries such as in Western Europe, Nordic countries, Australia and South Korea have a history of strong growth, but their momentum is slowing. Without further innovation they are at risk of falling behind.

Break Out: This group shows a relatively lower level of digital advancement but demonstrates the fastest momentum, making it attractive to investors. Countries include China, Kenya, Russia, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Mexico.

Watch Out: These countries face significant challenges as they are constrained by low levels of digital advancement and slow growth. They include South Africa, Peru, Egypt, Greece and Pakistan. The study placed Thailand in the last category, reflecting its low level of digitisation,…

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