Driving the advancement of its digital domain further, the Digital Economy and Society Ministry (DES) of Thailand recently made an engaging announcement. Three additional provinces from Thailand – Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, and Rayong, are now members of the inspiring ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN). The news was unveiled during the sixth ASCN annual gathering held in the exotic location of Bali, Indonesia, by DES Chief, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn himself.
Taking a moment to celebrate the meaningful progression of the ASEAN network, Chaiwut shared how the ASCN has evolved from 26 to a total of 29 cities, including the newly joined Thai provinces. Emphasizing the principles of the ASCN, Chaiwut explained the member cities’ dedication to working shoulder-to-shoulder with the private sector. The primary objective is to assimilate state-of-the-art technology across public establishments while setting a keen eye on creative tech-applications along with enhanced urban management and planning.
As stated by the DES chief, countries like Japan, South Korea, and Australia also engage in robust collaborations with cities within the ASEAN block, thanks to the solid platform provided by the ASCN. Aligning with this undertaking, the state-operated Smart City Project Management Committee laid out plans to turn six additional regions into well-equipped ASEAN smart cities.
Spanning over various regions such as Lampang in the North, centrally located Samut Prakarn, Theppharat in the Eastern Chachoengsao, and so forth, it will benefit approximately 1.8 million folks residing in these areas. Elaborating further, Chaiwut suggested that all emerging smart cities should devise a strategy that aptly handles the core ‘smart’ values. This encompasses initiatives towards a ‘Smart Environment,’ sparking a ‘Smart Economy,’ and cultivating ‘Smart Governance.’
In the current scenario, the nationwide Smart City blueprint operates across 36 unique regions spanning 25 provinces as detailed by Chaiwut. Furthermore, Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, the head of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency, divulged about an army of 134 Smart City Ambassadors that the agency has trained and deployed. These skilled individuals are set to propel the smart city initiative in their very own hometowns.
To solidify the groundwork, the launch of the Smart City Leadership Programme was put into action, enabling participation from over 140 members across various sectors. Alongside this, the Smart City Solutions Awards 2023 will be established during the highly anticipated Thailand Smart City Expo 2023, scheduled for November, confirmed by Nuttapon.
The addition of three more Thai provinces into the ASEAN Smart Cities Network further strengthens the digital reach and ushers in a new era of technological advancement and urban development, carving a bright future for Thailand and its citizens.
As part of Economy News and Thailand News, this progression tags along with ASEAN, infrastructure, and technology, forecasting an interesting series of developments to follow.