Thailand is planning to build a $37 billion smart city in an industrial hub near Bangkok that’s already drawn billions of dollars of investment pledges from global automotive, robotics, healthcare and logistics companies.
A master-plan to build the city in Huai Yai subdistrict of Chonburi province, some 160 kilometers (99 miles) southeast of Bangkok, was approved by a panel chaired by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha. The yet-to-be-named city will be spread over 14,619 rais (2,340 hectares) of land and will cost 1.34 trillion baht ($37 billion) over the next 10 years, officials said.
The project will comprise five business centers for companies to rent as commercial areas, Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the Eastern Economic Corridor, told reporters. These will include a hub to house regional headquarters of firms, a financial center, and areas for precision medicine, international research and development, and future industries such as clean energy and 5G technology, he said.
The residential quarter of the new city will be designed to accommodate 350,000 people by 2032, and generate 200,000 direct jobs, Kanit said. Residents will be mostly those employed in the industrial area, which is set to draw investments of about 2.2 trillion baht over the next 5 years, he said.