Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong and other officials attend the Smart City Thailand Takeoff event. (Source:www.bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) – The smart city initiative in the framework of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is likely to be the second development project in Thailand with the participation of China and Japan, following a high-speed rail network project.

Secretary General of the EEC Office Kanit Sangsubhan said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is conducting a feasibility study for smart city development in the EEC, focusing on the smart city evaluation framework, policies and incentives that could attract private enterprises.

According to the current regulations, private firms are allowed to develop their own smart cities. Amata Corporation Plc - an industrial estate developer and operator - is ready to develop a smart city project at its industrial estate in Chon Buri province, Kanit said.

Amata plans to transform a 42-square-kilometre industrial estate into a smart city by applying new technology, renewable energy, energy-efficient infrastructure and sustainable environmental management.

The firm cooperated with Yokohama city of Japan to complete the feasibility study last year. 

In March, Tadashi Maeda, Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), confirmed to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak that the bank was ready to extend soft loans for the high-speed railway project linking the three main airports of Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-tapao.

JBIC also confirmed its support for investment in the smart city project in Chachoengsao.

Meanwhile, the China Development Bank (CDB) also pledged to invest in the project, and urge Chinese firms to invest in projects in the EEC.

Thai Deputy PM Somkid said the support from both China and Japan in the EEC is meaningful for building the investment climate in Thailand and boosting investors’ confidence in overall EEC development.

Thailand has yet to set any schedule for the bidding for the smart city development in the EEC, as the government is initially focusing on the five infrastructure projects, including the high-speed railway project linking the three above-mentioned airports.-VNA