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Thailand’s National Smart City Committee launches the first call for smart city proposals

        March 11, 2019 – The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), together with the Office of Energy Policy and Planning (EPPO) and the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP), launched the "Smart City Thailand Takeoff" event at Ballroom, Park Hyatt Hotel, Bangkok. Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister ACM Prajin Juntong, the event marked the country’s major achievement on smart city development, including the announcement of criteria and process for smart city proposal evaluation, the launching of Smart City Thailand logo, and the call for all existing and new cities to submit smart city proposals. If approved, these cities would start the process of smart city transformation in any or all of the 7 smart city dimensions, from smart economy, smart mobility, smart energy, smart living, smart people, smart governance, to smart environment.  The event also announced the up-coming ASEAN Smart Cities Network activities in celebration of Thailand’s ASEAN chairmanship this year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of National Smart City Committee ACM Prajin Juntong said thatthrough digital technology and innovation the government has determined to develop the country into a high-income nation, characterized by low development disparity, wealth re-distribution, and quality of life for the people. One of the government’s top priorities is to build smart cities throughout the country, making existing cities smarter and livable as well as building new modern cities with good design and smart technology. Smart city dimensions can range from smart economy, smart mobility, smart energy, smart living, smart people, smart governance, to smart environment. As for the committee’s target, last year 10 zones in 7 provinces (namely Phuket, Chiangmai, Khon Kaen, Bangkok, Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao) already began its smart city transformation. From this year onwards the government plans to further develop 30 zones in 24 provinces in 2019 and extends its target to 100 zones in 76 provinces and Bangkok by 2022. 
The main driver for smart city development, as stated by Deputy Minister of Transport Dr. Pailin Chuchottaworn, is the establishment of the National Smart City Committee comprising all relevant agencies and experts, with the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Ministry of Digital Economy and Society), the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (Ministry of Transport) and the Office of Energy Policy and Planning (Ministry of Energy) as co-secretariat. The Committee’s role is to establish a mechanism to drive smart city development in Thailand, facilitate smart city projects, and monitor their progress. Since the first year, the Committee has piloted the smart city development in such areas with ready public and private support as Phuket, Khon Kaen, Bangkok (Phaholyothin Transport Hub) and EEC. From the second year onwards, the Committee urges all cities in Thailand to submit their smart city proposals for evaluation and approval, given that they meet the following criteria: 1) having clear geographical boundary and smart city goal; 2) having infrastructure investment and development plan; 3) having a design of open and secure city data platform; 4) providing smart city solutions in any or all of the 7 dimensions; and 5) having a sustainable management model. The approved cities will be entitled to use the Smart City Thailand logo and can further apply for investment privileges from the Board of Investment of Thailand.
Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, added that this event marks the achievement of smart city development in 7 provinces and call upon collaboration and effort from government agencies, private sectors, citizens, and media in advancing the work of ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) that will take place from June to August this year. In parallel with Thailand’s ASEAN chairmanship, the ASCN activities hosted by Thailand will showcase the best of smart cities from 26 ASEAN member cities, other dialogue partners, and global technology providers. In this ASEAN forum, Thailand will also propose the smart city evaluation criteria and process to be used as implementation guidelines by ASEAN member cities.  
 
Last but not least, Dr. Nattapon Nimmanphacharin, CEO and President of depa, reaffirmed that Thailand is now ready to be a leader in smart city development. While the beginning phase was done through pilot cities, Thailand today is ready to welcome all cities to transform into smart cities. Under the supervision of the Committee, depa is setting up the Smart City Thailand Office at Ladprao Hill Building, Ladprao Intersection, with fully equipped facilities and state-of-the art technologies to support smart city initiatives and development in all aspects.