6 June 2024

Thailand’s three leading public organizations have announced their commitment to support and promote the country’s bio-circular-green economy (BCG) visionwhile echoing their views on the critical role of BCG as a new driver for the economy and the path to the survival of the world.

Speaking at the Sustainability Expo 2022 held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center earlier this week, Dr. Chularat Tanprasert, Executive Vice President of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), said Thailand was very serious about pushing forward its bio-circular-green economy (BCG) vision for which the Prime Minister has himself taken charge and assumed the role of chairman of the executive committee. The Minister for Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation chairs the National BCG Driving Committee.

Noting that the target was to boost gross domestic product by one trillion baht by 2027, she said that the BCG vision would be achieved through a collaboration of the four forces – the public sector, the private sector, communities, academic and research institutes, and international agencies. Eleven subcommittees have been set up to drive the BCG model in various sectors and aspects, including food, medical devices, medicines and vaccines, energy material & chemical biology, and the tourism & creative economy sectors.

Chinawut Chinaprayoon. Executive Vice President at the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), told the conference that since today’s economy was driven by platforms or the so-called sharing economy, depa would collaborate with other relevant parties including small and medium-sized enterprises, startups, and digital service providers to help Thailand accomplish its BCG goalthrough building a supportive ecosystem.

“For example, in developing a Smart City, we have to utilize technologies to improve the quality of life and create new economic opportunities, and use data to drive the city forward.

“For agriculture, we must empower farmers with tools or a digital platform to help them reduce costs and waste while enhancing efficiency,” depa executive added.

The challenge is not a lack of technology but rather how to provide farmers with access to technology and convince them to adopt it.

The productivity of our rice, sugarcane, tapioca, and rubber plantations is low even though we have technologies that are second to none. Adoption is the key challenge,” he said.

Among the possible solutions is coming up with some role models in smart farming to persuade other farmers to follow, as well as encouraging the grouping of small farms so as to make their arable land viable for the application of drones, sensors, or other technologies.

With respect to the tourism sector, Chinawut said depa was collaborating with tourism operators to produce a platform that would provide a useful database for the industry. This would include a predictive capability.

[From left] Dr. Chularat Tanprasert, Executive Vice President of The National Science and Technology Development Agency; Chinawut Chinaprayoon Executive Vice President at the Digital Economy Promotion Agency and Dr. Soraphol Tulayasathien, senior executive vice president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
(PHOTO Courtesy of Sustainability Expo 2022)

In his address to the Sustainability 2022 forum, Dr. Soraphol Tulayasathien, senior executive vice president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), also stressed that BCG was a survival path for the entire world and an opportunity for Thailand if it could leverage information and digital technologies to equip Thai business operators with the capability to produce goods and services that are also “good for the world.

“Investors are beginning to give it more importance. Large funds will invest only in companies which pay attention to sustainability. Firms are being asked questions like these What is your policy on managing plastics? What is your policy on managing wastes? What is your clean energy policy?

To promote BCG and sustainability among listed companies, SET has come up with four key measures, namely building awareness, setting a standard or guidelines, recognizing good practices, and developing data infrastructure to help investors base their decisions on the right choices.

Meanwhile, according to the BCG Action Plan (2021-2027) which was earlier approved by the Cabinet, there are 13 key measures as follows:

1. Create digital repository of bioresources, cultural capital, and local wisdom
2. Replenish national resources through a quadruple helix approach
3. Develop BCG corridors
4. Transform an agricultural system into a system of high efficiency, high standards and high value
5. Improve quality and safety of street food and local food products with food machinery and Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) compliance
6. Build a biobased economy by employing advanced technology to develop and manufacture high-value products
7. Create demand for innovative goods and services derived from the BCG model
8. Promote sustainable and green tourism
9. Promote the development and manufacturing of sustainable goods and services by employing green technologies, green finance and the circular concept

10. Raise the standards of products and services to comply with international requirements by investing in infrastructure

11. Support BCG startups

12. Develop manpower to support the BCG model at all levels

13. Promote international collaboration in all facets, including knowledge creation and talent mobility.