Thailand’s Biotechnology Industry

The Kingdom’s position as a global leader in agriculture, one of the top food exporters in the
world, and a medical hub of Asia has encouraged the emergence of biotechnology in Thailand. For the past two decades, Thailand has been developing a cutting edge biotechnology industry. This knowledgebased industry has diverse applications across the medical, agricultural, aquatic, and industrial fields. With a greater focus on science and technology, the biotechnology sector has evolutionary implications where industry will move into more value-added activities to support the industry’s growth and competitiveness in years ahead.

The foundation of Thailand’s biotechnology industry was laid in 1983 with the creation of the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC). Since then, numerous public and private institutions have started conducting biotechnology research. To help facilitate the industry, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) provides resources to develop the critical mass of researchers necessary to achieve Thailand’s national research and development (R&D) goals for biotechnology. As the center of biotechnology development in Thailand, BIOTEC established multiple laboratories for conducting research and providing technical services in agricultural, biomedical, and environmental sciences. Additionally, the Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) and the Board of Investment (BOI) have supported the industry, facilitating its progressive growth.

Under the Biotechnology Development Policy Framework 2012-2021, the Thai government is the driving force in stimulating developments in R&D and applications of biotechnology. This initiative aims to transform Thailand into the center of biotechnology in Asia while strengthening the country’s competitiveness. Thailand currently chairs the ASEAN sub-committee on biotechnology and is a regional and global contributor to the industry.