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ICT and economic development: Analyzing Thailand’s path to the information economy

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  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Theoretical framework
    1. The influence impact model
    2. Applications of research model
  4. The case of Thailand
    1. ICT and national policy
    2. ICT and social infrastructure development
  5. Discussion
    1. Facilitating ICT sector work
    2. Ensuring a supply of qualified workers
    3. Exploiting distinctive characteristics
    4. Reconfiguring industrial and information policy
  6. Conclusion
  7. References

This analysis of the development of Thailand's information economy places particular emphasis on its ICT and social infrastructure development. Drawing upon lessons learned from similar development trajectories in Ireland, China, and India we develop a set of guidelines for Thailand to consider as it continues its information economy development. From the policy perspective, Thailand, similar to other countries, plans to use ICT as an enabler to develop a knowledge-based society. From the infrastructure perspective, some challenges that Thailand faces are unequal infrastructure development across regions, a small skilled workforce, and low R&D expenditures in the ICT sector. Case studies of ICT sector development in Ireland, India, and China suggest several important strategies and actions that Thailand could emphasize. These include facilitating ICT sector work, ensuring a supply of qualified workforce, exploiting the country's distinctive capacities, and reconfiguring and adapting its information policy to changes in the global ICT market. The development of a sustainable information economy has become a worldwide goal. Developed countries have established national policies regarding strong investment in information and communications technology (ICT) to maintain their leadership positions and to increase their competitiveness in the global information economy. Similarly, developing countries recognize this opportunity to enhance their economic capability by developing a workforce more attuned to the needs of the information economy.

[...] Information Technology and Economic Development: Ireland's coming of Age with Lessons for Developing Countries. Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 4-23. Tessler, S., Barr, A., and Hanna, N. (2003). National Software Industry Development: Considerations for Government Planners. Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 13(10): 1?17. Thuvasethakul, C. and Koanantakool, T. (2002). National ICT Policy in Thailand. Africa-Asia Workshop: Promoting Co-operation in Information and Communications Technologies Development, Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia. Thuvasethakul, D. and Pooparadai, K. (2003). ICT Human Resource Development within Thailand ICT Policies Context. [...]


[...] China and India: The Road to Growth. The McKinsey Quarterly, Special Edition: China Today: 110-119. Farrell, D., Laboissière, M. A., and Rosenfeld, J. (2005). Sizing the Emerging Global Labor Market. The McKinsey Quarterly, 92-103. Friedman, T. L. (2005). The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Gray, H. and Sanzogni, L. (2004). Technology Leapfrogging in Thailand: Issues for the Support of eCommerce Infrastruture. The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries, 1-26. [...]


[...] Second, Thailand needs to make significant progress in e-commerce development in order to participate in the global information economy Table Distribution of ICT adoption across geographical regions ICT ICT access Fixed phone lines per 100 inhabitants Mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants Internet users per 100 inhabitants Business access and use of ICT Business with computers Business with Internet access Business with web sites GREATER BANGKOK CENTRAL NORTH N.EAST SOUTH (Source: NECTEC, 2005) Education and the availability of a skilled workforce are important prerequisites to building innovation capacity and to supporting the growth of the information economy. [...]

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