The government of Thailand has called on private industry in major Thailand provinces to form companies devoted towards city development, asset management and innovation. The goal is to accelerate the country’s progress in building Smart Cities.

The plan is to budget local governments to aide in this process and foster public/private collaboration. As first reported by the Bangkok Post, plans are being initiated in the provinces of Kon Kaen, Chiang Mai and Phuket.

Developing Smart Cities in Thailand is a key point in the government’s plan to adapt towards a digital economy, according to the Digital Economy and Society Minister, Pichet Durongkaveroj.

Pichey said the reason the government is pursuing the private-public collaboration model is because it promotes long-term investment.

“Smart cities cannot be developed by only the state, as their development requires massive funds,” he said.

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The Smart City initiative is supervised by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency

Phuket was the first city to pilot the project and the public sector dedicated THB386 million (US$11 million) to begin building a digital economy.

This year, Chiang Mai is beginning with a budget of THB36 million (US$1 million) and Kon Kaen will start next year with an initial budget of THB15 million (US$425,000).

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Longterm, Chiang Mai and Phuket have been pinpointed as investment centers for technology, and the government wants to build “super clusters” for digital development in tourism, security, the environment, healthcare and education.

Eventually, the goal is to develop smart cities across Thailand, but do so in a way that allows provinces to adapt its development according to its economic needs.

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