Abel Deng, CEO, Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd. 

Energy technology and ICT technology have been the main economic drivers post industrial revolution. They also transformed the global economic model from an agricultural-based economy to an industrial economy until eventually, the transformation to the current digital economy. The new era of industrial revolution will rely on digital services and low-carbon technology aiming to achieve ‘green development’ that leads to a future smart world. There are five digital economy trends worth watching in the coming year that address the needs of digitalization and carbon neutrality.

Trends 1: The digital economy is the key to post pandemic economic resilience and recovery

The digital economy is developing at an unstoppable speed worldwide. It has become one of the most important drivers of innovation, competitiveness, and growth, and holds huge potential for social well-being. In 2020, global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by 2.8%, while ICT spending grew by 5%, which demonstrates the growing popularity of the digital economy trend. Most leading countries have developed a ‘Digital First Economy’ policy to rebuild a newly enlarged GDP. It is predicted that 50% of the global economy will be digitalized by 2025. Thailand aims to increase its digital economy ratio to 50% by 2030, and over the past two years, has brought up to 30% of cloud technology to government agencies, and up to 70% to the private sector. Data monetization will grow six times by 2030, and the digital economy might create 60-65 million new jobs in the future.

Trends 2: Connectivity and computing, the bedrock of the digital economy

Connectivity and computing are the foundation of the digital economy. 5G, F5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are at the heart of connectivity technology, whereas the cloud and AI represent the future of computing. Thailand is a leading country in ASEAN and has one of the best digital and connectivity infrastructures in the region. In the future, the convergence of connectivity and computing will change all industries – whether it be transportation, finance, or energy – and create new value for society.

Trends 3: Digital technology adoption race from focusing on 5G to 5G+ F5G+ cloud+ AI Full Stack

Over the past year, we have seen significant acceleration in the adoption of digital technologies. Since Thailand issued 5G licenses in May 2020, Thailand has developed 4.9 million 5G users, which is 2.5 times the total number of 5G users in all other ASEAN countries. In addition, Thailand’s internet speed is the world’s fastest in F5G fixed broadband internet network technology. While cloud adoption has also taken a significant step forward in past years. It is an exciting achievement that the percentage of Thai organizations’ adoption of cloud technology grew from 59% to 78% in one year. As organizations implement AI to fuel business value, the race for digital technology in ASEAN is beyond connectivity, focusing on key technologies of full-stack digital infrastructure such as AI5G, F5G, cloud and AI.

Trends 4: The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data

With the popularity of 5G, AI and the cloud, the volume of data is increasing at an amazing speed. The digital economy is also generating massive amounts of data. For example, a digital connected factory can generate 1 PB of data in one day. The Economist published an article entitled: ‘The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data’, which reflects the importance of the trend for now and the future. The data industry will integrate with a variety of industries and promote new business models. The value chain penetrates nearly every field of human society, which will be changing governance patterns, storage methods, and network optimization.

As a result, data localization is becoming a trend. At present, more than 50% of countries are issuing data industry strategy and cross-border flow regulatory policies. Thailand also enacted the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) in 2022 to comply with the digital economy trend. It is becoming more important than ever to promote data security and control the value chain of our data.

Trends 5: No digital no green; more bits fewer watts; ICT is playing a crucial role for carbon neutral

Besides building economic resilience, digitalization is also the pathway to a low-carbon and sustainable society. According to the World Economic Forum report, by 2030, benefiting from digitalization, global carbon emissions will be reduced by 12 billion tons. For the ICT industry itself, by driving green infrastructure, the network will be 2.7 times more energy efficient. Huawei has identified Thailand as the first country in ASEAN to make a strong commitment to carbon neutrality. Therefore, Huawei will support Thailand by integrating digital and power electronics technologies, developing clean power, and enabling energy digitalization to drive the energy revolution.

As the digital economy comes our way, Huawei is collaborating with customers, industry partners and the public sector to bring digital services to every person, home, and organization for a fully connected, intelligent and low-carbon Thailand.