The digital industry sentiment index dipped to 53.2 in the third quarter from 54.1 in the previous quarter, attributed to economic factors such as higher interest rates, uncertainty regarding government policies, and a slowdown in the economies of Thailand's trading partners.
However, the index remained above the 50-point threshold, reflecting entrepreneurs’ confidence, according to the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa).
The quarterly survey samples roughly 500 enterprises in the digital industry that are registered in the Depa’s database.
The latest survey found that domestic demand continued to expand, influenced by the tourism sector, which improved over the previous quarter.
Business owners expected the government to push for relevant laws to provide clarity in terms of their business planning and carry out infrastructure development for the digital ecosystem in the country.
The index surveyed five sectors: hardware and smart devices, software, digital services, digital content and telecommunications.
The survey covers several dimensions such as turnover, production volume, new employment, production orders, and business investment.
Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, president and chief executive of Depa, said the latest survey found that entrepreneurs were concerned about the country’s economic situation because of the rising interest rates, political conditions, and certain policy changes made by companies which had led to falling demand for digital equipment.
Furthermore, Thailand’s main trading partners experienced an economic slowdown, while the domestic tourism sector and internal demand continued to expand.
As a result, the digital industry confidence index remained at a level that signified confidence among the respondents.
The indices of four sectors in the survey scored above 50: hardware and smart devices (51.3), software (56.9), digital services (53.0), and digital content (52.4). Telecom, with a score of 47.6, was the only sector with an index value below 50.
“Digital entrepreneurs hope the government will adjust its strategies to promote the digital industry by pushing for relevant regulations and advancing infrastructure development to create an environment that facilitates competition for digital businesses,” said Mr Nuttapon.
Moreover, many respondents urged the government to boost spending on digital via the existing Thailand Digital Catalog initiative, provide measures to attract digital talent from abroad, and develop the local workforce.
The Thailand Digital Catalog is comprised of qualified digital products and services developed by local digital service providers.
The goal is to provide the best-quality digital products and services with reasonable prices to consumers including enterprises, government agencies, organisations and other entities to enhance their operations and services.