In the industrial circles of agriculture, medicine, tourism and the economic system, the term “BCG Economy” needs to be more recognized, since the Thai government is applying this model to develop the root economy and to promote its growth. A target is set for Thailand’s GDP to increase to 4.3 billion baht within 5 years. The important thing is that the environment must be flawless and that the sustainable development goals (SDG) of the United Nation must be attained in our country. BCG Economy has thus been raised as a model that will solve the root economy through the continuity of the former model the Government has been attempting to expedite. However, this must correlate to the sufficiency economy philosophy.
On February 19, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at Sarasin Room, 2nd Floor, Sirikunakorn Building, Khon Kaen University – A meeting was held between Khon Kaen University and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) to discuss collaboration that will lead to the upgrading of Thai people’s life quality. Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University and KKU administrators represented KKU while Prof. Prasit Phalitphonkarnpim, M.D., Deputy Director of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and his team represented NSTDA.
BCG is an abbreviation of the model for driving 3 aspects of economy, namely, Bio Economy or the use of knowledge, technology, and innovation to top up the former strength at the root, i.e., bio resources or agricultural products, by value adding; Circular Economy, or optimal utilization of resources for maximum worthiness with zero waste; and Green Economy that aims at sustainably decreasing impacts to the world, especially the environment, such as by using enzyme from microorganisms for paper bleaching.
Prof. Prasit Phalitphonkarnpim, M.D., Deputy Director of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) explained about the national goal to efficiently and sustainably develop the economy so that the citizens have good quality of life and good incomes. At the same time, the resources are restored and conserved by the use of the biodiversity through knowledge, technology, and innovation. NSTDA is joining with institutions including Khon Kaen University to add values to the bio-resources by means of sciences and technology and to create green economy and sustainable development. BCG Model will be applied in this respect. Khon Kaen University possesses the bodies of knowledge in all fields, is outstanding in agriculture and medicine, and has efficient personnel. Thus, the end products will be foods, high-quality matters, biochemical industries and bio-energy, which will in turn, solve the economy at the root level.
BCG Model has been designed to cover the 4 targeted industries, namely, agriculture and foods, energy and biochemistry, medicine, and tourisms.
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., said, “Khon Kaen University has already conducted research to develop bodies of knowledge related to BCG Economy. We have built the self-depending capacity among the farmers so that the agricultural sector will rapidly recover. We have promoted farming of economy crops such as rice, sugar cane and cassava for producing electrical energy. At the same time, we have researched on the reduction of wastes from the industrial system through the use of complete-cycle innovation such as solar farming that reduces the use of electrical power. We have promoted value adding of raw materials in the industrial sector. Therefore, we are ready to collaborate with NSTDA to assist in solving economic problems at the root level.”
Based on the data obtained from the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thai economy formerly relied on the agricultural sector, and most of the population belong to this sector. The National Statistics Bureau also stated in 2013 that the agricultural labor accounted for as high as 32.3%, which is really high when compared to laborers in other sectors. However, the incomes of the population in this sector are low, which resulted in decreasing labor in agriculture. The government is therefore expecting that BCG Economy, which matches the behaviors and lifestyles of the new generation, will lead to the growth of the economy at the root level and upgrade the quality of life of Thai people.
Photos: Natthapong Chamnan-ua
Author: Jiraporn Prathomchai