The Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) Policy Board convened on 12 July 2021 with Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha serving as the board chairman. The meeting reviewed the performance of Thailand in the global stage with regard to BCG. Thailand’s Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) improved from the 45th position in 2014 to the 27th position in 2018, whereas its SDG Index rose from the 55th place in 2017 to the 43rd place in 2020.
BCG model has been introduced as responses to global challenges that Thailand is facing, e.g., climate change, pollution, disease outbreak and income inequility. BCG model applies the concept of bioeconomy, circular economy and green economy to develop the nation to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) by capitalizing on the country’s strength in biological and cultural diversity. The model will be driven through the following four strategies under close collaboration of the government, industry, academia and the people sector:
- Strategy 1: Promoting sustainability of biological resources through balancing conservation and utilization.
- Strategy 2: Strengthening communities and grassroots economy by employing resource capital, identity, creativity and advanced
- Strategy 3: Upgrading and promoting sustainable competitiveness of Thai BCG industries.
- Strategy 4: Building resilience to global changes.
The board approved the 2021-2027 BCG Strategic Plan and the following 13 measures to drive BCG agenda:
- Create digital repository of bioresources, cultural capital and local wisdom to serve the purposes of conservation, restoration and utilization to strengthen a local economy and tourism industry.
- Replenish national resources by offering carbon credit to enterprises engaging in the forestry carbon projects on the government’s land and accelerating research and development in plant and animal breeding and resource management.
- Develop BCG corridor by connecting demand and supply in each region to build a regional economic corridor and employing BCG principles - modern agriculture, processing, tourism, trade and investment and linkage between domestic and global economy - to develop/improve products and services.
- Transform agricultural system to produce premium and safe products, increase GDP by diversifying agricultural products such as seed, fruits, ornamental plants, timber, insects, herbal plants and livestock, increase farmers’ access to applicable knowledge and technology and promote sustainable agriculture by applying BCG concept.
- Improve quality and safety of street food and local food with food machinery and GHP compliance.
- Build a biobased economy by employing advanced technology to develop and manufacture high-value products such as functional ingredients, functional food, biochemicals such as oleochemicals, biomaterials such as carbon-based materials, drugs and vaccines.
- Establish market for innovative products and services through government procurement program; tax incentive program for products and services on the Thai Innovation List; BCG-related labeling such as carbon footprint labeling, green labeling, environmental labeling; carbon pricing; polluter pays principle and energy deregulation.
- Promote sustainable and green tourism by launching new tourism model such as Happy Model, developing sustainable and green tourism with BCG concept and carbon neutrality, forming tourism clusters of primary and secondary cities, and establishing a one payment system to offer convenience to tourists and for the government to collect data for analysis and future planning.
- Promote the development and manufacturing of sustainable goods and services by employing green technologies and circularity concept.
- Raise the standards of products and services to comply with international requirements by investing in R&D infrastructure, translational research infrastructure such as pilot plants, quality infrastructure system to support standardization, testing, certification and accreditation of products/services such as organic products, biochemical products, drugs, vaccines, medical devices, medical supplies, and revising laws and regulations.
- Support BCG startups by improving technological and business skills of entrepreneurs and increasing access to technology, innovation, government infrastructure, government experts and financial sources.
- Develop manpower to support BCG in all levels, including community, grassroots, SMEs, technologists, startups and tech entrepreneurs.
- Promote international collaboration in all facets, including knowledge creation, talent mobilization, research and development network, trade and investment at the regional and global levels to enrich Thailand’s innovation ecosystem with measures such as incentive to attract foreign investment and international talent and smart visa.
The board also encouraged all agencies to ramp up their effort to implement the 2021-2027 BCG Strategic Plan and the above 13 policy measures to drive BCG and prepare for post-COVID recovery.