On May 24, 2017, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visited Prince of Songkla University's research and innovation expo at the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty the King's Accession to the Throne International Convention Center in Hat Yai.
In a speech titled "Driving Thailand 4.0 in the South", Gen Prayuth explained that "Thailand 4.0" is a new avenue for delivering technology and innovation to the people, facilitating increased income and quality of life by improving the current modes of production.
In order to facilitate the transition to Thailand 4.0, the government plans to organize activities in every region, starting with the eastern seaboard, according to the premier. Exact locations will be chosen based on a number of criteria, including access to key infrastructure (airport, sea port etc.). The established network will then be linked to the southern region’s existing infrastructure. The Prime Minister pointed out that PSU could contribute by conducting studies on the economic development and cooperation with key stakeholders in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), which has the potential to boost the business sector both in basic infrastructure and in major urban development.
The premier highlighted the importance of research and development by higher education institutions as an essential source of up-to-date knowledge to be utilized in accordance with the Thailand 4.0 strategy. Thus the government acknowledges the importance of educators and students as contributors to the new generation that will lead the society to Thailand 4.0. In addition, the concept facilitates self-development by placing emphasis on learning, reading, and following dependable social media.
The university could also place a greater emphasis on the creation and management of research groups and research funding, in order to supplement government contributions.The Prime Minister visited various research- and innovation-themed exhibitions, including the Rubber Research Group Exhibition, Oil Palm Group, Health, Wellness and Bio-Med Digital Economy Group, Creative Economy Group, Southern Border Security and Development Group, PSU Science Park Exhibition and the Institute of Higher Education Research Network Exhibition.
In the afternoon, the premier and entourage visited PSU’s agricultural market, which serves as a distribution center of agricultural products and food safety products. The market rose to prominence when it was named a “prototype market of Songkhla Province” by the Songkhla Provincial Health Office, with a subsequent award for 100% “no-foam” compliance.