Thailand is reportedly planning to build a $37 billion smart city in an industrial hub in Huai Yai Subdistrict of Chonburi Province, some 160 kilometers (99 miles) southeast of Bangkok.
A master plan to build the city has been approved by a panel chaired by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha. The hitherto unnamed city will be spread over 14,619 rais (2,340 hectares) of land and will cost 1.34 trillion baht ($37 billion) over the next 10 years, according to officials.
The project has already garnered billions of dollars of investment commitments from global automotive, robotics, healthcare and logistics companies.
“The new city will be liveable for the new generation of people as well as operate a business center. We created this new project to compensate for the income Thailand lost during the pandemic,” the business report quotes Kanit Sangsubhan, Secretary-General of the Eastern Economic Corridor Office as saying.
The project plans to have five business centers for companies to rent as commercial areas, including a hub to house regional headquarters of firms, a financial center, and areas for precision medicine, international research and development, and future industries including clean energy and 5G technology.
The residential quarter of the new city will be designed to accommodate 350,000 people by 2032 and generate 200,000 direct jobs. Residents will be mostly those employed in the industrial area, which is set to draw investments of about 2.2 trillion baht over the next 5 years.
Separately, Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt also has met with the Chinese ambassador to Thailand to discuss assistance in transforming Bangkok into a “Smart City”. Chadchart has requested the cooperation of the Chinese Embassy with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
Thailand, Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, is currently struggling with a slow post-pandemic recovery. The country’s Chamber of Commerce has reported a short supply of over half a million migrant workers for various economic development activities.