The semi-rural provincial district of Huay Yai, a 20 minute drive from Pattaya, has been chosen as the site of the region’s first smart city. The Cabinet has approved the 10 year initiative covering nine square miles which will cost US$37 billion. The project is the remit of the Eastern Economic Corridor, an international investment agency which has already brought huge changes to Chonburi and two adjoining provinces.
Dr Kanit Sangsubban, the EEC secretary general, said the city would be an import and export hub for global finance, precision medicine, the latest hi-tech industries, robotics, clean energy developments and 5G technologies. He pointed out that the EEC has already transformed parts of the infrastructure of eastern Thailand including motorway routes, ring roads, beach reclamation projects and Pattaya port facilities.
Other developments, linked to the smart city, include a medical city of a million square meters now being built by Mabprachan lake and strategically placed near two airports, two deep-water ports and the city of Pattaya with all its attractions. Indeed, it is becoming clear that Pattaya’s future lies in acting as a significant leisure base for a huge industrialized hinterland as well as a haven for international tourists.