Nature of innovation is complex and diverse. I believed that each country could not stand alone to manage an evolution of innovation ecosystems by itself. That is why, bilateral or multilateral partnership platforms are arising to nurture and accelerate the successes of working together.
To be in a well-position, ASEAN needs a strong connection in both among each other and worldwide. As ASEAN Presidency, “an innovation community for all” is among the top agendas for Thailand. Also, having a strong and dynamic inter-regional innovation system reflects a vibrant socio-economic DNAs of ASEAN and our partners. I believe China has a very eminent role in this global innovation setting.
I would like to elaborate on a recent improvement of innovation policy deployment in Thailand. The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings 2019 shows Thailand has moved up five places, from the 30th to the 25th position, due to improved economic performance, government efficiency and infrastructure. To be more specify with innovation performance, the Global Innovation Index 2018 reports that Thailand has leap-frogged from the 51th to the 44th, stepped up for 7 levels – among the highest in the world. And lastly, Bloomberg innovation index reflects that Thailand is in ranked the 40th, increased 5 levels from 2018.
Evidently, “innovation performance” from Large National Corporations (LNCs) strengthens Thailand innovation system for the past decades. However, there are three challenges of developing Thai innovativeness emerges;
Firstly, Area-based innovation can be perceived as paradigm shift for Thai innovation system, it engages local administrative level, land developer, tech-companies and civil society to plan and act together on innovation district platform. At this moment, there are 12 innovation districts being implemented – 7 in Bangkok (as Bangkok Innovation Corridor), Chiang Mai, and 4 in Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). This includes new generation of science city at Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi) and Eastern Economic Corridor of Digital (EECd), which comparable with success stories of Shenzhen, Suzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.
Secondly, Enterprising Nation is very similar to China “mass entrepreneurship and innovation” initiative. Startup Thailand – the biggest startup event in the region and Innovation Diplomacy – the global innovation outreach of Thailand as well as to promote the image of the country to become “Innovation Nation”. These two key strategic campaigns aim for supporting new in-campus and young tech-entrepreneurs to start their business and linking the world market and investment with Bangkok. With a strong private-public partnership, we extensively engage Chinese institutions as key strategic partners in this endeavor, including SAR Cyberport, TUS Holding, and particularly, “HUAWEI CLOUD Thailand Startup Acceleration program” in 2018 to strengthen Startup ecosystem in Thailand.
Thirdly, Data-Driven innovation is an emerging innovation type for our innovation system transformation from supply-oriented setting into open-innovation friendly community. Developing deep technology sectors ranges from AI-based industries – e.g. Agtech to Arttech, and digital platform economy to data-driven economy, and government as accelerator of public data, including innovation informatics becomes the next decade horizon waiting for us to discover.
These three prongs of innovation challenges are changing a paradigm and perception on supporting and facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship development and capability in Thailand.
Through those initiatives, I believe that objectives and solutions can be found for supporting International collaborative network to unite between China and ASEAN member states to become stronger and expand their network to the global stage.