Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Thailand: Draft Laws to Promote Digital Economy

(Dec. 17, 2014) On December 16, 2014, it was reported that Thailand’s Cabinet approved two draft laws on information technology. The laws were put forward by the Information and Communications Technology Ministry.  (Thailand: Cabinet Nod for Draft Laws on Digital Economy Committee, Restructuring of ICT Ministry, NATION (Dec. 16, 2014).)

One proposed law is on the establishment of a National Digital Economy Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister and with the deputy Prime Minister in charge of the country’s economy serving as deputy chairman. The role of the new body would be “to coordinate the implementation of digital-economy policies between the government and state agencies.” (Id.)

The second draft law would restructure the current Information and Communications Technology Ministry and rename it the Digital Economy and Society Ministry. The new Ministry would comprise five offices: the ministry office, the permanent’ secretary’s office, the digital economy office, the meteorology office, and the office of national statistics. (Id.)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha pledged support for a “digital economy” when speaking at a forum held in Bangkok on December 4. He acknowledged that the country “still has some way to go before it can benefit” from such an economy, “including passing of necessary laws, infrastructure development and technology transfers,” and he gave assurances that the government would pass the necessary amending laws to facilitate the digital economic policies. (Prayut Pledges Support for Digital Economy, BANGKOK POST (Dec. 4, 2014).)

The proposed legislative amendments are to be put before the National Legislative Assembly in January 2015, Prayut stated. He added that Thailand also must establish an efficient national data center, national broadband networks, and digital gateways for gathering and integrating government information that would be accessible to both Thai and foreign business groups. (Id.)

The government published its draft plan for a digital economy on November 14. The plan calls not only for the efficient provision of digitized government information and a national broadband infrastructure, but also for such measures as affordable Internet access by citizens, the strengthening of online identity verification methods and of cyber security, and the digitization of procurement by means of e-contracts and invoices. (Medha Basu, Thailand Drafts Digital Economy Plan, FUTUREGOV (Nov. 14, 2014).)