Thailand to spend US$6.6 bln on R&D investments this year

Thailand’s research and development (R&D) investments are expected to amount to THB200 billion (US$6.6 billion) this year, up 32 percent from 2018.

(Illustrative photo:

(Illustrative photo:

Director of the office Kitipong Promwong said the investments accounting for 1.2 percent of Thailand’s GDP are largely made on R&D in the automotive, food and technology sectors.

R&D investments of Thailand have grown in leaps and bounds in recent years, expanding 36 percent last year from 2017.

In the next three years, the office wants to push R&D investments to THB280 billion per year.

Kitipong said the Thai government also aims to produce more graduates with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees. By 2027, the country hopes to see those with STEM degrees make up half of the total yearly graduates.

More STEM-degree graduates are needed to shore up shortages of specialists in the new S-curve industries in the area of the Eastern Economic Corridor.

The Thai government is promoting 12 targeted S-curve industries in advanced technology and innovation to push forward the country's economy.

The 12 industries will need more than 100,000 workers over the next four years. Of these, 34,500 will be needed in digital technology, 29,000 in aviation and logistics, and 20,000 in medical and comprehensive healthcare.

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