THE DIGITAL Economy and Society (DE) Ministry will drive a nationwide initiative via public-private collaborations to create sustainable smart cities.
The ministry plans to launch the Digital Economy and Society Promotion Agency (DEPA) within six months.
DE Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said the ministry wanted to encourage local businesses to set up public-private collaborations to develop and support smart cities in all provinces.
He said the private sector and local enterprises would be part of the development of these cities in collaboration with the government to support them in the long term.
He said local enterprises and the private sector in general in Khon Kaen province were the first to unite under the initiative – setting up the Khon Kaen Think Tank several years ago to support Khon Kaen city’s development as a smart city.
Last year local enterprises in Phuket collaborated to set up Phuket City Development Company (PKCD) with capital of Bt100 million.
PCD also provides various infrastructure benefits to Phuket’s smart-city initiative such as security, environmental and tourism measures.
It is scheduled to start providing smart services to the public in April, such as a smart application designed for investment in Phuket and a smart tourism app to support visitors who come to the destination with their friends or families.
This year local businesses in Chiang Mai established Chiang Mai City Development Co.
“I think that the collaboration among local enterprises and the government will create a sustainable smart city in the long term and will increase the competitiveness of businesses in the province,” Pichet said.
He added that the government had spent Bt386 million on developing the Phuket smart-city concept, Bt36.5 million in Chiang Mai and Bt15 million in Khon Kaen.
He said the government would officially announce the impending formation of the DEPA today.
The new agency will promote digital technology, software and innovation.