Three more Thai provinces join ASEAN Smart Cities Network expanding digital reach

DES Chief, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Thai PBS World

Further broadening its digital reach, Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society Ministry (DES) recently declared that three additional Thai provincesChiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Rayong, now form a part of the seminal ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN). This exciting development was announced yesterday, by DES chief, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, during the sixth annual ASCN assembly held in Bali, Indonesia.

In his proclamation, Chaiwut touched upon the successful elevation of the network’s count from 26 to 29 cities post this recent induction. The purpose behind the ASEAN Smart Cities Network underscores the collaborative efforts of the member cities in harmony with the private sector. The central aim remains to incorporate modern technology across public infrastructures which entails a firm focus on innovative technological applications, in addition to better urban planning along with management.

As per the DES head, the ASCN also delivers a strong platform for cities within the ASEAN block to foster stronger cooperative ties with countries such as Japan, South Korea and Australia.

In tandem, the state-owned Smart City Project Management Committee yesterday honed in on six more prospective areas to be developed into ASEAN smart cities across the nation.

The proposed areas named by Chaiwut include Lampang in the North, Muang Taiyong Buak Khang in Chiang Mai in the North, the Centrally located Samut Prakarn, Theppharat in the Eastern Chachoengsao, Nikhom Phatthana in Eastern Rayong, and Southern Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipality, reported Bangkok Post.

Spanning these new smart cities will yield benefits to approximately 1.8 million citizens, the DES Minister explained. He further highlighted that each of these fledgling smart cities should formulate a plan that aptly tackles the ‘smart’ core values. This includes establishing a ‘Smart Environment’ along with fostering a ‘Smart Economy’ and encouraging ‘Smart Governance.’

As of now, the nationwide Smart City blueprint encapsulates 36 distinct regions across 25 provinces, specified by Chaiwut.

In a separate development, Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, head of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency, revealed that the agency has produced and trained 134 Smart City Ambassadors. These trained individuals will further the smart city initiative in their hometowns.

The groundwork also includes the launch of the Smart City Leadership Programme, in which over 140 delegates from various sectors have participated. Furthermore, the Smart City Solutions Awards 2023 will also be instituted during the forthcoming Thailand Smart City Expo 2023, scheduled for November, Nuttapon confirmed.

Economy NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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