Thailand To Spearhead Smart City Development Through The Help of UK

The Partnership of Thailand and UK in Smart City Development

There is a complex relationship between cities and businesses, and using suitable models may contribute to its success. A discussion paper from the Global Cities Business Alliance (2016) states that the city authority’s powers, governance structure, priorities, and civil infrastructure are the appropriate model for a city. One of the modern models used is the smart city, which involves advanced technology aiming to provide a higher quality of life for its citizens.

Establishing a smart city requires knowledge and support from other countries. Recently, news about the collaboration of Thailand and the UK in driving smart city development has been circulating in global news outlets.

In a news article from the ASEAN Briefing last May 17, 2021, the collaboration between the two countries started in 2020, initiated by the UK’s International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss. The initiative involves a virtual trade mission from the UK’s partnership with Thailand’s Digital Economy and Promotion Agency (DEPA) and strengthening trade and investment ties through their Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).

Aside from supporting both countries’ businesses, Thailand and the UK also launched the Smart City Handbook. Based on the news article from Bangkok Post last October 22, 2020, the handbook is established to promote the partnership between the two countries. It contains outlines of smart city landscapes in Thailand and the UK’s smart city projects and knowledge.

Thailand To Spearhead Smart City Development Through The Help of UK

Thailand and Its Smart City Model

During the 2019 ASEAN Summit, Thailand launched its Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) initiative to provide smart city development in three Thai provinces. Another news article from Open Gov Asia on February 12, 2020, states that Thailand was confident to launch the EEC as it would promote “a seamless ASEAN.” The EEC aims to create a centre for trade, investment, regional transportation, and a strategic portal to Asia.

Thailand’s 4.0 model aims to have 100 smart cities developed by 2022, as supported by the agreement between the DEPA and the City Possible global network. The goal of the 4.0 model is to transform Thailand into a high-income country with improved quality of life in its urban areas. Their partnership focuses on supporting the citizens and businesses by educating them about smart city development.

Benefits of Establishing Smart Cities

As urban cities become denser in population, the quality of life that it gives has been depreciating. That is why there is a call for national governments to act on the growing problem in urban cities by creating developments. With this, the Harvard Business Review stated that cities need to be wiser on using their resources to meet their citizens’ needs.

Smart city development has been gaining attention globally as it provides many benefits. It integrates advanced technology into people’s lives and can also drive businesses towards success. Some of the benefits of smart cities are that it makes public services more efficient, its systems can be used in monitoring physical infrastructures, and it drives revenue generation.

The Urban and Regional Innovation Research stated that smart cities could result in a 5% annual increase in the overall economic development. In monetary terms, it means that around $20 trillion gains in a decade. This evidence supports the idea that smart cities are a national investment that can positively affect the country’s economy.


How Smart Cities Can Drive Business Growth

The Global Cities Business Alliance added in their 2016 discussion paper that effective models could bring positive results to cities and businesses. Both sides benefit by supporting strategic developments, maximizing the impact of international events and initiatives, and improving operational effectiveness.

Smart cities promote strategic developments, as mentioned in the EEC made by Thailand. When it comes to initiatives, Thailand used its 4.0 model to educate the public about socioeconomic issues and act on them. Smart cities also improve operational effectiveness, wherein employees can now work remotely and attend meetings online despite the pandemic.

As public services become more efficient and accessible in smart cities, businesses can maximize time while minimizing costs. The use of robots also decreases operational costs, letting companies save and invest in other things. In terms of logistics, some businesses provide logistics and delivery services. Shipping goods become much easier with less time and money needed.

Thailand To Spearhead Smart City Development Through The Help of UK


The keys to effectiveness and efficiency are essential in making cities and businesses succeed. Achieving economic development means that authorities need to take action that will facilitate growth and improvement. It includes improving the quality of life in the city and making public services accessible and efficient.

The partnership between Thailand and the UK is an example of purposeful partnerships that can inspire other countries. The partnership has already helped many businesses in both countries to engage in trade. Thailand’s goal of being classified as a high-income country shows its dedication to improving its urban cities and its citizens.

With the help of modern technology, future issues can now be avoided by improving the infrastructures and strengthening the sense of community in the urban areas. Although the concept of smart cities is just beginning to gain recognition, countries, and companies are slowly establishing them.

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