Thai Smart City week to begin

Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) will today open its inaugural Smart City Week. The event will hold digital technology

thailand smart city

Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb

Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) will today open its inaugural Smart City Week.

The event will hold digital technology exhibitions and online seminars to promote Thailand’s goal of developing 100 smart cities by 2024, a part of its Thailand 4.0 national development strategy.

The initiative is also part of a broader ASEAN-wide movement that hopes to leverage the data and productivity gains from integrating information and communications technology (ICT) to address some of the region’s greatest challenges, such as rapid urbanisation, decreasing productivity and the effects of climate change. The success of Thailand’s initiative will be contingent on its ability to upgrade ICT infrastructure while managing data governance problems, cybersecurity risks, and the complexities of 5G development partnerships.

Expect Thailand’s smart city initiative to be a limited endeavour in the short term as it grapples with infrastructure development, funding and risk management. If unchecked, the country’s complex bureaucracy and regulatory framework could hinder nationwide development. Although initial projects have been financed through private-public partnerships, green bonds and FDI offer additional development capital. Without an overhaul of regulatory policies, clear nationwide guidance, and serious consideration of cybersecurity concerns, the innovative ideas generated by DEPA’s Smart City Week risk going unrecognised and unfulfilled.

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