Thailand’s internet economy has grown from $6 billion in 2015 to $16 billion in 2019, a local media reported. But the country is still behind in comparison with its regional peers in digital adoption and digitalisation. 

A report Disruption Watch #7: Thailand’s Digital Revolution said that online travel is the country’s biggest sector followed by ecommerce, online media and ride-hailing. The online travel sector is currently worth $7 billion. It is an influential component as Thailand is Asean’s biggest tourism economy. 

That said, the ecommerce sector is worth $5 billion. This sector grew by 54 percent compound annual growth rate over the past four years, the report said.  The report was developed by Maybank analysts Lee Ju Ye and Chua Hak Bin.

Thailand’s e-commerce sector is increasing consumer goods imports and lowering consumer items prices. The report said Chinese products are becoming more popular on the country’s ecommerce platforms. Also, local merchants are using these ecommerce platforms to export to China. 

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, told the local media that, “I want to remind you all that you should take advantage of the government’s adoption of advanced digital technologies to develop human capital, society and key business segments, including farmers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which represent the largest proportion of the country’s population.”

Thailand 4.0 economic development model is expected to increase incomes across domestic sectors.  

However, the report noted that digital adoption by the country’s small and medium enterprises remain low. Even though these enterprises account for 42 percent of the GDP and 79 percent of employment—they are underequipped as far as digital skills are concerned. 

Thailand ranked 11 out of 14 countries in Asia Pacific in digital readiness, according to a 2019 study by Cisco Systems.