Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,        

On behalf of the Royal Thai Government, I’d like to express my gratitude to the United Arab Emirates Government and ITU for graciously hosting this landmark ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018.

Following the Thai Government’s vision and initiatives so called “Thailand 4.0”, the past four years have been challenging, productive, and exciting considering not only new development schemes but opportunities that arise from the “Digital Disruption”. The needs for policy changes and agility led us to establish the “Ministry of Digital Economy and Society” two years ago to properly manage the society’s “Digital Transformation”.

First, we recognize that “Inclusiveness” is as important as “Growth Model” if not more. Over the past two years, among the many poverty eradication” measures, investments to ensure the availability, accessibility, and affordability of telecommunication and high speed internet for the mass have been most forceful. To date, of all the 75,000 villages throughout Thailand fiber optic cables have now reached 75% of the villages and by next year the whole country will go broadband. In parallel, we are empowering communities to “Do it themselves” e-commerce and thus able to sell their local products to the global markets. Social applications are also coming along rapidly including tele-health, government e-services.

Second, Growth and innovation have to mature together. Technology-wise we are all aware of business and government opportunities via 5G, IOT, AI, Machine learning, many of which lead to smart agriculture, smart SMEs, Smart manufacturing, smart city, and smart government. Through the “Digital Thailand” policy, we promote digital innovation through our 300 –acre “Digital Park” situated at the Eastern Economic Corridor or EEC. We heavily promote “Digital Startups” recognizing entrepreneurship as the new economic engine. But we also recognize that apart from FinTech, our young generation can be innovative also in FoodTech, AgriTech, TourismTech and CulturalTech to name a few.

Third, Partnerships are necessary condition. Not only global partnership like the SDG 17 Goals, or ITU Strategic partnership 2020 that provide common guiding principles, but there are other dimensions of partnerships that are as important. From Thailand experience, Public Private Partnership principle is necessary but insufficient as a condition. In fact, in this day and age of digital connectivity, to empower Public Private People Partnership will not only promote growth but will resolve inequality and provide opportunities hence “Digital for All” is truly meaningful.

At the regional cooperation level, Thailand in the coming months will assume the chairmanship of the ASEAN community. The year 2019 for ASEAN will be the year of “Advancing Partnerships for Sustainability”. Apart from working among ASEAN member countries, we will be working diligently with our dialogue partners. May I take this opportunity to invite ITU and ITU Members to join us in events such as smart city, regional connectivity, regulatory sandbox, or cyber security exercise and training to name a few.

In closing, I thank you ITU executives and ITU members for this plenipotentiary gathering and if I may, please support Thailand candidacy for ITU Council Region-E.

Thank you