On May 24th of 2017, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand, visited research and innovation exhibitions organized by PSU Hat Yai and network of universities of Southern Thailand. The exhibitions took place at the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Accession to the Throne International Convention Center, PSU Hat Yai campus. The PM also started a discourse on Thailand 4.0 in the south to 1,600 audiences including governmental unit leaders, entrepreneurs, administrators, and students.
PM Prayut explained the importance of “Thailand 4.0” as a driving mechanism to growth of income by integrating technology and innovation into the country’s development and lifestyle. Thailand 4.0 is to be used as a developmental blueprint for each region but the government will aim to start with eastern region first due to its readiness and rich infrastructure such as airports and piers. Next stop would be the south. The PM requested PSU to develop Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), which targets business development, development in major cities, and infrastructure.
PM Prayut complimented PSU for having been the driving force in integrating research and innovation to develop the country for the past 50 years. The university has thus become a leading institution in research and development. The PM mentioned that the government will further PSU’s research work regarding rubber, oil palm, modern technology, and medicine by connecting the institution to production process. Furthermore, there also needs to be a research process that identifies issues and resolutions related to production. The university was encouraged to categorize the research as well as sources of its funding so to allow the government to funnel support accordingly. Growing the existing materials and ideas further to create more inventions was also encouraged.
The PM visited exhibitions in the following clusters – rubber, oil palm, public health, health, medical technology, digital economy, creative economy, southern border security and development, science park, network research institute of higher education. In the afternoon, the PM and team visited agricultural market organized by Faculty of Natural Resources, which is a central marketplace for agricultural products and toxic-free food on campus and open to public. The marketplace provides guidance on food safety, consumer protection to the operators. The marketplace was selected as a model flea market by Songkhla Office Public Health, awarded as an outstanding market and 100% free of Polystyrene foam, and listed as a “must-watch market” by Ministry of Commerce. Other exciting market operations include selling products on LINE app, supporting organic farming to local agribusiness group, frequent Chicken Dancing organized by PSU organizers and market operators.