Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

Term or Acronym Description
3GPP Originally the Third Generation standards body; now for 5G
4G Fourth generation mobile – the worldwide basis for most mobile broadband cellular services, includes cell hand-off; see now 5G.
4 IR Fourth Industrial Revolution, also referred to as Industrie 4.0 (see Industrie 4.0/Industry 4.0), it is about cyber-physical systems. See also Thailand 4.0, Thailand’s vision and version of 4 IR.
5G Fifth Generation mobile cellular, becoming the standard. A leap up from 4G, requiring much more infrastructure investment; relies on many business use cases.
ABAC APEC Business Advisory Council
ABTC ASEAN Business Travel Card
ACN Anti-Corruption Network. A private-sector body. Former name (up to 2012) of Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand (ACT), see ACT. More
ACT Anti Corruption Organisation of Thailand, a Foundation from 2014. Formerly ACN. More
AD Anno Domini – the year of our Lord. Dates using the Gregorian calendar – see also BE.
ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (see also DSL); a lower speed broadband technology using copper wires. xDSL indicates variants.
AEC ASEAN Economic Community
AFAS ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services
AFTA ASEAN Free Trade Area
Agile A mode of project management including software development where requirements change continually to fit the result and options at the end of each stage. Contrast ‘waterfall’ where all requirements are stated up front and any changes are formal variations. More and more
AIC Asia Internet Coalition
AMS ASEAN Member State
APEC Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation; a forum for 21 Pacific-rim member economies that seeks to promote open trade and practical economic cooperation. Established 1989. More and More
AQ Alternative Quarantine. A period of mandatory quarantine at government accredited hotels in Thailand.
ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations
ASEAN CSAP Consolidated Strategic Action Plan (part of the AEC 2025 Blueprint)
ASOCIO Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation (regional grouping – ATCI is Thailand member)
ASQ Alternative State Quarantine. A period of mandatory quarantine at government accredited hotels in Thailand.
ASW ASEAN Single Window (for customs) – see also NSW
ATCI Association of Thai ICT Industry (formerly called Association of Thai Computer Industry)
ATIGA ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement
ATISA ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement; post-dates AFAS
ATR ASEAN Trade Repository
ATSI Association of Thai Software Industry
B2B Business to Business – an eCommerce term
B2C Business to Consumer – an eCommerce term; see also G2C
BCG Bio, Circular, Green economy. Adopted by Thai cabinet in Jan 2021 as policy. Promoted by BOI. Includes Circular economy.
BE Buddhist Era; calendar used for Thai dates which is typically 543 years more than the Gregorian calendar, using AD (Anno Domini –the year of our Lord, referring to the birth of Christ). eg AD 2017 = BE 2560.
BMA Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
Bogor Goals APEC goals for trade and investment liberalization which were defined at the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Bogor, Indonesia in 1994. They are the basis of Business Mobility which underpins the ABTC. More
BOI Board of Investment
BoI Bureau of Immigration
BoT Bank of Thailand; (more commonly than Board of Trade)
BOT Build – Operate – Transfer. Most commonly a way of creating and running concession-era hard infrastructure in the telecoms sector in Thailand.
BSA Business Software Alliance
BTO Build-Transfer-Operate (see also BOT)
CAC Collective Action Coalition Against Corruption, a private sector project of Thai IoD which acts as the secretariat. More See also ACT.
CCA Computer Crimes Act 2007 amended 2017
CCM Creative Chiang Mai – previously Chiang Mai Creative City Development organization.
CDN Content Delivery Network
CHE; OHEC Higher Education Commission; part of MHESRI since 2019. Office of HEC runs the Commission.
CII Critical Information Infrastructure. Public or privately-owned communications or internet infrastructure designated as having a relevant security purpose under the Cybersecurity Act.
Circular Economy Aims at eliminating waste through continual re-use of resources.
Cloud Refers to the internet, supporting the delivery of services to users on demand from a provider’s servers rather than their own.
Competency Framework A structure for classifying and describing skills, often based on an industry or sector.
COVID 19 Short version of the name given to the virus outbreak ‘Coronavirus’, that has come to be used for the general pandemic which started in 2019. The virus that caused the outbreak is known as SARS-CoV-2.
COVID 19 Testing 2 main types: PCR (assesses the presence of virus in patients), antibody testing (detects the presence of antibodies, cannot be used in early stages of the disease), and others (such as CT scans – but low specificity: not possible to know whether respiratory symptoms are due to SARS-CoV-2 or other disorders such as pneumonia).
CPTPP Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership; also known as TPP11.
CSF Critical Success Factor
CTS Council for Trade in Services. The discussion and disputes resolution body of GATS, based in Geneva.
Data Localisation The requirement that data must be maintained (hosted) in one national jurisdiction and not sent across borders, or even kept on-premises. Justification is about sensitive medical or financial information and may be on nationalistic grounds. More
DB Doing Business’ term used by World Bank for the ease of doing business rankings relying on ten criteria. Also ‘ease of doing business’ (eodb). The ranking was formally cancelled in September 2021, following ‘pausing’ in August 2020, due to irregularities. WB tentatively plans a replacement which would take some two years (from late 2021) to come to fruition. Alternative rankings relying on competitiveness can be useful substitutes.
DBD Department of Business Development in MoC
DoE Department of Employment (in MoL)
DEPA Digital Economy Promotion Agency
DFT Department of Foreign Trade, in MoC
Digitalisation/Digitisation Digitalisation: The process of reform whereby an organization goes fully digital, meaning it is transformed to support data collection, analysis, application and interaction; re-engineered business processes and automation. Features inter-agency interoperability and single sign on (SSO). A key part of Industry 4.0.Digitisation is the use of soft copies (eg PDF) in place of hard copy / wet signature. While it makes for better ease of use it is not a step towards full Digitalisation. The distinction is promoted by DEPA and is useful.
Digital Economy All economic activity mediated by software and enabled by telecoms infrastructure. The Digital Economy grows by (i) digitization of off-line or analogue processes or services; (ii) new, native digital products or services. More
Digital Literacy The ability to function well in the on-line world. There is no one definition of Digital Literacy – some are more narrow focusing on ability to operate computers and interact on-line, a broad definition also brings in on-line media literacy, cyber wellness and other concepts.
DIP Department of Intellectual Property, in MOC
DITP Department of International Trade Promotion in MoC
DLA Department of Local Administration
DSL Digital subscriber line (variants include VDSL, ADSL; generically xDSL)
EABC European Association for Business and Commerce (like a ‘Eurocham Thailand’); a Trade Association.
EAEU Eurasian Economic Union; so far with five member states.
EAFTA East Asian Free Trade Area
EC European Council sets the general political directions and priorities of the EU through heads of government as Council members; European Commission is an executive cabinet of public officials, led by an indirectly elected President. EC more commonly refers to the European Commission.
EDTA Electronic Transactions Development Agency
EEC Eastern Economic Corridor, a special regime zone located in the Eastern Seaboard.
EGA Electronic Government Agency
EGAT Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand
EFTA European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland)
ESG Environmental, Social, Governance criteria for investing. More
ETA Electronic Transactions Act 2001, amended through 2019.
ETC Electronic Transactions Commission, formed under the ETA.
ETDA Electronic Transactions Development Agency
ETSI European standards body for telecommunications. More here
EU European Union – political and economic confederation of 27 European states.
EU-ABC EU-ASEAN Business Council, a regional, European grouping incorporated in Singapore as a Society, mainly dominated by large companies rather than by regional ‘Eurocham’ members.
EUD Delegation of the EU – like an EU Embassy or foreign mission.
Fake News Information appearing to be valid news or other information which has incorrect statements of fact or falsehoods. JFCCT has compiled policy recommendations on what Fake News should address. MDES has an Anti- Fake News Centre here
FBA Foreign Business Act AD 1999 BE 2542
FDI Foreign Direct Investment
FDN Foreign Dominance Notification (revised and re-issued in 2012 by NBTC)
FEA Foreign Employment Act AD 2008. Defines ‘work’ in s. 5. Repealed and replaced by a labour Decree (#1) which can into effect on 23 June 2017, Amended by another labour Decree (#2) with effect from March 2018. Changed definition of ‘work’ and where a work permit is needed, to some extent.
FEL Foreign Equity Limits
FTA Free Trade Agreement
FTI Federation of Thai Industries
FTTH Fibre-to-the-home
FTTN Fibre-to-the-node
FTTP Fibre-to-the-premises
Fully Vaccinated Describes the state of having received the recommended minimum doses of a vaccine for it to be optimally effective, plus some period. It is more a public health administration term rather than a term of science. It depends on the specific vaccine, which may require 1,2 or 3 does + some period, typically 14 days after the final shot, but it can be 7. The term is often misused as simply requiring two shots.
G2C Government to Citizen. Describes an interaction, typically in an on-line context.
G2G Government to Government. For intra-government or inter-government interaction; typically used in an on-line context. A digital subscriber line (DSL) protocol for local loops shorter than 500 m, with performance targets around 500 Mbps. Giga home networking with data rates around 1 Gbps. An ITU-T standard under the G.9963 standard.
GATS General Agreement on Trade in Services. Four Modes of service trade
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
G-DSL Same as but introduced in Thailand at TOT in 2017 as G-DSL (Gigabit over cobber wire, coaxial cables or power lines).
GDPR General Data Protection Regulation entered into force May 2018. Replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. Designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe. More. See also PDPA and Seminar Booklet.
GMS Greater Mekong Subregion
GNSS Global Navigation Satellite System; generic name for any such system supporting navigation on earth. GNSS is used for electronic road pricing for example without gantries.
GSM Global System for Mobiles
GSMA GSM Association - GSM based industry association for mobile operators
GSP Generalised System of Preferences. A programme of preferences on tariffs which developed countries grant developing countries; developing countries can export some specific industrial and semi-industrial products into developed countries with a much lower level of tariffs than for developed countries.
Guillotine A method of Fast Track Regulatory Reform relying loosely on APEC Good Regulatory Practices (GRP). Unwanted / unnecessary laws and regulations are removed or amended or subject to other treatment. The Guillotine Unit (GU) was a well staffed team in Thailand which processed over 1,000 licence issues for change during 2018-2019. In 2020 a Fast Track Regulatory Committee was formed with 9 sub committee, one being Guillotine. The work needs proper funding and political commitment from the top. ‘Fast Track’ is a process which to a large extent can bypass the usual interaction with the responsible line agency only.
H.E. His/Her Excellency. A title of respect for certain offices, used for Heads of foreign missions (eg Ambassadors) and Ministers.
HetNet Heterogeneous Network – eg WiFi + LTE
HSPA High Speed Packet Access (a mobile cellular multiplexing standard)
IAPP The International Association of Privacy Professionals, a global information privacy community and resource. More
ICDL International Computer Driving Licence, ICDL Foundation is an international organisation dedicated to raising digital competence standards in the workforce, education and society. Trains in digital skills, including digital literacy.
ICSID International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a World Bank body established 1966. Main activity: private investor: foreign investor state. Of 166 signatories, Thailand is one of only 8 non members. More
IEAT Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand
IEEE US based standards body, publishing standards for WiFi for example (802.11) More
Industrie 4.0 / Industry 4.0 Connected, intelligent industry. Intelligent, networked systems: previously separated production environments are combined to produce universal production worlds, which are partly of a physical nature, and partly attain a new functionality in the cyber space of web connectivity (ie cyber-physical systems). See also Thailand 4.0; See also 4IR.
IoT Internet of Things – devices which have IP addresses so they can connect M2M.
IP Internet Protocol (packet based). Intellectual Property
IPR Intellectual Property Rights
IPTV Internet Protocol Television; distribution of video programming (one way) by means of the Internet Protocol.
ISACA Information Systems Audit & Control Association (has a Bangkok chapter)
ISP Most commonly, Internet Service Provider. In an Intellectual Property context, Intermediary Service Provider (or On-line Intermediary), referring to a range of service providers which operate between the rights holders and end users or buyers. Such ISPs include on-line merchants, on-line market places, social media platforms; data centre operators, mobile broadband service providers and potentially payment service providers. 2017 amendments to the CCA and proposed amendments to the Copyright Act regulate the circumstances in which such ISPs may or may not be responsible for IPR infringements.
ITA IT Agreement, a WTO agreement most recently done in 2015 with updates through 2017.
ITGI IT Governance Institute
ITIL IT Infrastructure Library
ITSMF IT Service Management Forum
ITSS IT Skill Standards for IT Professionals
ITU International Telecommunications Union (UN agency)
JETRO Japan Regional Trade Organisation More here
JSCCIB Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking, comprising the Thai Bankers Association, Board of Trade and FTI. In Thai: [คณะกรรมการร่วมภาคเอกชน 3 สถาบัน (กกร.)]
KPI Key Performance Indicator
KWh Kilowatt hours, A measure of electricity consumption – I,000 watts used for one hour.
LFA Licence Facilitation Act
LTE Long Term Evolution – the ‘4G’ standard in the GSM world.
M Industry Ministry of Industry
M2M Machine-to-machine
MB, GB MegaBytes, GigaBytes (a size)
Mbps Mega bits per second (a speed or rate of data flow)
MDES Ministry of Digital Economy & Society, successor to MICT. Sometimes called ‘DE’.
MEA Metropolitan Electricity Authority
MFA Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
MHESRI The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. Founded in 2019 by a merger of different organs, including the Office of Higher Education Commission.
MHz, GHz Typically used to refer to wavelengths or parts of the spectrum. Hz = hertz (frequency). Mega, Giga.
MICE Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions. Related to business tourism, promoted by TCEB.
MICT Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, succeeded by MDES.
MNO Mobile Network Operator
MoC Ministry of Commerce; with more Departments than most Ministries. Departments/Agenices
MoE Ministry of Education
MoF Ministry of Finance
MoI Ministry of the Interior; Ministry of Industry is typically M.Ind
MoL Ministry of Labour
MOST Ministry of Science & Technology
MoTS Ministry of Tourism & Sports
MoU Minutes of Use (used in telecoms); Memorandum of Understanding
Mpbs per MHz A measure of spectral efficiency – speed per amount of bandwidth available.
MRA Mutual Recognition Arrangement, an AEC instrument for recognition of skills in about eight professions or callings.
MSM Multi-stakeholder model, a form of internet governance which recognises civil society, business, government.
MSME Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. See also SME
MVNA Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator
MVNE Mobile Virtual Network Enabler
MVNO Mobile Virtual Network Operator
MWh Megawatt hours. A measure of electricity consumption.
NACC National Anti-Corruption Commission
NBH National Broadband Holding Co. Holding company which is planned to administer Thailand’s rural (and possibly wider) broadband policy.
NBN National Broadband Network; a generic term in many countries (and specific in some – eg Australia).
NBTC National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission
NCCC National Counter Corruption Commission (former name of NACC, changed in 2008)
NCPO National Council for Peace and Order (military junta)
NECTEC National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre
NESDB National Economic and Social Development Board
NewTech Generic term; refers to areas of newer application-based technology for enterprise or consumer use, including FinTech (finance and banking services applications); RegTech (using technology to facilitate delivery of regulatory requirements); MediTech (medical technology); EduTech etc.
NLA National Legislative Assembly (current unicameral parliament)
Notification A subordinate law, made under an Act or Decree; can also refer to an interpretation of a law.
NRC National Reform Council
NRSA National Reform Steering Assembly, was an organ of the NCPO
NSTDA; NSTDC National Science & Technology Development Agency; upgraded to National Science & Technology Development Council.
NSW National Single Window (for customs) see also ASW
NTB Non Tariff Barrier
NTC National Telecommunications Commission, the predecessor to the NBTC; in operation 2004 to 2011. Its sister body NBC (National Broadcasting Commission) was never formed. The 2007 constitution required a ‘merged’ regulator, hence the NBTC.
NTMs Non-Tariff Measures
NXPO Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO); autonomous public agency affiliated with MHESI. NXPO is the secretariat of the National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council (Policy Council). NXPO was previously the STI Office More
OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) A machine to machine communication protocol for industrial automation developed by the OPC Foundation. More and more
OPDC Office of Public Sector Development Commission
OSMEP Office of SME Promotion, a statutory authority
OSOS One Start One Stop Investment Centre, a BOI run facility Centre, a BOI run facility More
OTT Over-The-Top; delivery of content over a network without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content; content rides on a network provided on an open basis by network operator. Some argue that OTT operators unfairly use data network capacity without compensating network operator.
P2P Computing or networking via a distributed application architecture which partitions tasks or workloads between peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the application.
P2P lending Lending money to individuals or businesses through online services that match lenders with borrowers (Peer to Peer)
PACC Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission
PATA Pacific Asia Travel Association
PCA Pattaya City Administration
PDP Power Development Plan issued periodically by Ministry of Energy (eg 2015; 2018 plan issued 2019 with revision in 2020).
PDPA Personal Data Protection Act – in force in stages: 28 May 2019 and 31 May 2021.
PDPC Personal Data Protection Committee, the central body which administers the PDPA, formed in May 2020.
PEA Provincial Electricity Authority
PPP Public Private Partnership – based on a law of the same name.
PPP Purchasing Power Parity (a GDP adjustment for per capita GDP).
RCEP Regional Comprehensive and Economic Partnership. 16 participants including Thailand. More
ROO Rules of Origin (for trade in goods, and customs), and are the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product.
Rule of Law The concept that Laws enacted by a recognized process, as part of a system of law, rule over all other means of power and control. More and More. ‘Law and Order’ is a different concept.
RWE Real World Experience. A pharmaceutical term to describe responses and other data about pharmaceuticals with real patients. Contrast clinical trials or clinical data which is done in a lab or by controlled experiments or tests.
s.44 A provision of the interim charter allowing the NCPO to make orders which have the status of law. Although the interim charter is succeeded by the 2017 Constitution, s. 265 of the Constitution allows for continued use of s.44 up until the 2019 election and the new government formed min 2019.
SAP SMED ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development More. See also SME and MSME
SDG Sustainable Development Goal – 17 UN-promoted goals for sustainable development.
SHA/SHA+ Safety and Health Administration. A certification awarded by Tourism Authority Thailand (TAT) to services which meet strict health standards related to the pandemic. SHA+ are stricter than SHA. SHA+ accreditation allows a hotel for example to offer ‘Sandbox’ and one/two night quarantine service packages.
SIPA Software Industry Promotion Agency, under MICT. Now reconstituted as Digital Economy Development Agency (DEPA) under MDES.
SOE State-Owned Enterprise
SOP Standard Operating Procedure(s)
SME Small and Medium Enterprises; see also MSME
SPA Asia Oceania Regional Software Park Alliance
Spectral Efficiency The capacity of a defined amount of bandwidth to support data throughput – usually measured in Mbps per MHz of bandwidth. Depends on the multiplexing process which has various standards.
STC Strategic Talent Centre BOI promotion for Skills, Technology, Industry
STI Science Technology & Innovation, an activity promoted by BOI. The National Science Technology & Innovation Policy Office (STI Office) is now NXPO More
Sustainable / Sustainabilty Various uses and misuses. Can mean that a business plan shows a positive bottom line (ie net revenue); or that an organisation is operating according to some key SDGs.
TAA Trade Associations Act, governs the form of organization known as an Association or Trade Association
TAT Tourism Authority of Thailand;
TBA Telecom Business Act (amended in 2006)
TCA Trade Competition Act AD 1999, BE 2542; amended 2017
TCC Thai Chamber of Commerce (one of constituent bodies Board of Trade)
TCT Tourism Council of Thailand; established under the Tourism Council of Thailand Act, BE 2544 (AD 2001). Brings together a number of tourism bodies.
TCEB Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, a state entity established by Royal Decree in 2002.
TCT [sic] Telecom Association of Thailand
TDRI Thailand Development Research Institute
TELMIN An ASEAN body; Telecommunications Ministers Meeting
TELSOM An ASEAN body; Telecommunications Senior Officials meeting
TFA Trade Facilitation Agreement, a WTO agreement. (There is no Investment Facilitation Agreement in WTO, some states argue that investment is a bilateral matter). More
Thai IOD Thailand Institute of Directors More
Thailand 4.0 A national vision based on the assumptions and principles of Industry 4.0 or 4 IR
TICA Thai Incentive and Convention Association
TISA Thailand Information Security Association. More
TiSA Plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement; made outside GATS
TPP11 Trans-Pacific Partnership without the US; also known as Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
TRIDI Telecommunications Research and Industrial Development Institute (part of NBTC)
TRIPS WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
USF Universal Service Fund
USO Universal Service Obligation
Vaccine Effectiveness The ability of a vaccine to prevent defined outcomes (eg being infected with COVID 19). More
Vaccine Efficacy UThe degree to which disease incidence is reduced in a vaccinated group vs an unvaccinated group. More
VAT Value Added Tax. Levied on the gross margin at each point in the manufacturing-distribution-sales process of an item. An ‘indirect’ tax. Currently at 7% in Thailand. GST is similar. VAT or GST are used in many economies.
Waterfall A method of systems development (eg software development) where requirements are stated up front; any changes are formal variations. Contrast ‘Agile’.
WHT Withholding Tax – levied on income; rate varies depending on application More
WiFi Nomadic (eg no mobility or cell hand-off) broadband service. IEEE 802.11 standard, with -b,g,n,ac and other variants.
WTO World Trade Organization

Royal Thai Government

Top level organisations are Ministries. Within Ministries are Departments and agencies. Examples: Ministry of Commerce has several Departments including DBD (Department of Business Development); DIP (Department of Intellectual Property).

Some Exceptions:

Board of Investment is a statutory agency established by the Investment Promotion Act (IPA). It is under the OPM (Office of Prime Minister).

Bureau of Immigration is a Bureau of the Royal Thai Police, within Ministry of the Interior.

Other glossaries


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