PM Srettha aims to boost Asia-Pacific’s sustainable development

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

PM Srettha charged the United Nations’ Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to assist in identifying innovative solutions to promote sustainable development across the Asia-Pacific region.

This appeal was part of his address at the 80th ESCAP session, themed Leveraging Digital Innovation for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, held in Bangkok yesterday, April 22.

PM Srettha emphasised the vibrancy and dynamism of the region but also highlighted that the current trajectory will not allow for the realisation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) until 2062. He stressed the need for urgent, transformative change, with digital innovation playing a crucial role in achieving this change.

“Innovative methods for sustainable development are in demand by the future. To expedite this change, we require a transformative shift, and digital innovation is turning out to be an essential tool for us all to realise this change.”

The Bangkok-born prime minister also advocated that digital innovations should be beneficial to all and genuinely contribute to sustainable development. He proposed two methods to effectively harness digital innovation’s potential to contribute to regional sustainable development.

The 62 year old PM emphasised the importance of empowering people and communities via digital transformation, ensuring that digital innovation maintains a people-centric and inclusive approach. He remarked that many countries in the region, including Thailand, have an agriculture-based economy and can utilise digital tools to guarantee food security for all.

Digital technology

PM Srettha suggested that digital technology should be used to encourage agricultural innovation, which would help ensure a sustainable food system, climate-smart farming, and environmental sustainability. He mentioned that the Thai government had recently initiated the Ignite Thailand initiative, focusing on eight key areas, including the digital economy, future mobility, financial technology, wellness, and medical technologies, with digital innovation being the primary driving force.

While emphasising the need to better leverage digital innovation for sustainable growth, the Thai premier also drew attention to the necessity of safeguarding against risks and potential negative impacts. This includes addressing cyber security threats, bridging the digital divide, and working towards a strong cooperation framework for a safe, secure, and equitable digital future for everyone in the region, reported Bangkok Post.

PM Srettha underscored ESCAP’s pivotal role as an active stakeholder in integrating digital technologies to promote sustainable development. He assured that Thailand is prepared to support collective efforts to create a significant impact in the region.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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