Thai Minister of Digital Economy and Society Pichet Durongkaveroj hosts the ASEAN Smart Cities Network roundtable conference on June 8.
(Photo: bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society in collaboration with the Ministries of Transport and Energy of Thailand organised a round-table conference on the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) on Jun 8.

Earlier, the Thai Government approved the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society’s action plan to lure non-ASEAN countries for partnership and investment in smart city infrastructure to develop 26 smart cities in ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The plan is to focus on countries that have strong capabilities and expertise in new technologies like the Republic of Korea, China and Japan.

Local tech startups are expected to benefit from the connected business ecosystem of the network that is being led by Thailand this year as the ASEAN Chair.

The ASCN was initiated at the 2018 ASEAN Summit in Singapore, with a mutual goal of creating sustainable smart cities, promoting quality of life in ASEAN via technology and innovation, and coping with urban expansion problems like traffic congestion, poor-quality water and air, poverty, increasing inequality, the quality gap between urban and rural areas, and security.

The ASCN’s 26 cities are Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Banyuwangi (Indonesia), Battambang (Cambodia), Cebu (the Philippines), Da Nang (Vietnam), Davao (the Philippines), Jakarta (Indonesia), Hanoi (Vietnam), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Johor Bahru (Malaysia), Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Kuching (Malaysia), Luang Prabang (Laos), Makassar (Indonesia), Mandalay (Myanmar), Manila (the Philippines), Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Singapore, Vientiane (Laos), Yangon (Myanmar), and three cities of Thailand - Bangkok, Chon Buri and Phuket.

Thai Minister of Digital Economy and Society Pichet Durongkaveroj said that the 26 cities are considered pilot projects, whereby each country can propose up to three cities for collaboration in the criteria of smart city development, promoting living quality through technology and innovation.

As for Thailand, development of smart cities is important as it helps improve the economy and better the society.-VNA