The Thai government has approved a budget of 24.6 billion baht (around EUR 720 million) to transform the country into ‘an advanced technology-based society’, the Bangkok Post reports.
The money will come from the current fiscal year budget, according to the National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council. The major investment will support the Bio Circular and Green Economy programme known as BCG in Action.
One of the goals is to cut Thailand’s waste by at least three million tonnes a year through recycling and reuse. The country generates around 27 million tonnes of waste annually (1.13kg per capita daily) with roughly 30% improperly disposed. Council director Kittipong Promwong expects to see significant changes in waste management best practices by 2024.
He says the money will also help develop manpower and institutions and create innovative technologies and solutions across various industries. Other objectives are to increase national competitiveness and reduce social disparities, which Promwong concedes are ambitious goals.
Promwong adds that the government plans to increase the number of university graduates in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculties to 40% of all graduates in a year. This is up from the current rate of 34%.
In the next five years, the aim is to boost further the proportion of STEM graduates to 50%. Promwong estimates there will be about 107 000 positions available for people with STEM backgrounds by 2024. About 34 000 of them will be in the digital industry.
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