Thailand: Digital city planned for EEC next year
Construction of a 5-billion-baht Silicon Tech Park, expected to be a model for Thai digital cities, is set to start next year in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) through a public-private partnership.
The project, dubbed the “Silicon Valley of the East” and co-developed by Planet Communications Asia Plc, Cisco and the EEC Office, is located on an area spanning 500-700 rai in Rayong’s Ban Chang district.
“We are asking the government to reduce electricity prices by 20% because foreign investors said the current rate is high and their businesses require a high volume of electricity,” said Prapat Rathlertkarn, chief executive of Planet Communications Asia.
Many investors from Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Israel and the US have expressed interest in investing in high-tech projects at the park, he said.
“Targeted investment projects include data and design centres, cloud business and R&D,” said Mr Prapat.
The Silicon Tech Park is meant to serve as a new working area for tech startups. It is also expected to be a model for leveraging renewable energy and green technologies to create an environment that is sustainable, future-proof and ecological, according to the investors.
Taveewat Chantaraseno, managing director of Cisco Thailand and Myanmar, said the company will introduce its Country Digital Acceleration programme to develop a digital and smart city.
In addition to providing secure internet and cloud connectivity for the park, Cisco also plans to showcase its innovations for smart buildings, smart cities, secure hybrid work and smart workspaces, said Mr Taveewat.
“We are deploying a 400-Gbps internet gateway to provide ultra-high-speed internet services in the area,” he said.
The park should be able to accommodate modern workers with healthy lifestyles and draw foreign investment in digital business R&D, as well as become a new training centre to nurture people’s digital skills, said Kanit Sangsubhan, special advisor for the EEC’s strategic planning.
Authorities expect the park to create returns worth more than 500 billion baht, eventually expanding it to a new EEC city on 15,000 rai in Chon Buri’s Bang Lamung district, said Mr Kanit.