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27 Thai cities to join Mastercard’s City Possible network

The move is part of a mission to achieve 100 smart cities in Thailand by 2022.


Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mastercard to induct 27 Thai cities into the City Possible global network.


The move is part of depa’s mission to achieve 100 smart cities in Thailand by 2022, following pilot projects involving Phuket, Khonkaen, Bangkok and cities in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).


“Last year, 27 enthusiastic cities across Thailand crafted their smart city plans to become depa’s smart city promotion zones. 2020 is going to be a year of action to promote these cities,” said Dr Passakon Prathombutr, senior executive vice president, depa. “Instead of a single city-level partnership, depa is bringing with us the network of 27 cities to City Possible. In addition, it is our honour to be the first national government to join the City Possible network.”


The focus on smart cities is a core pillar of the government’s Thailand 4.0 initiative.


Depa also plans to launch a chief smart city officer certification programme to support local smart city efforts.


Public-private partnerships


Mastercard’s City Possible is a “co-creation” programme aimed at speeding collective progress. It includes city leaders, businesses, NGOs and academics.


“Cities around the world face similar challenges but they are too often solving in isolation. City Possible connects cities with insights and resources from cities around the world which accelerates progress and enables smart governance,” said Miguel Gamiño Jr, executive vice president, global cities, Mastercard.


Depa also plans to launch a chief smart city officer certification programme to support local smart city efforts.


Mastercard said it is also keen to explore the possible implementation of City Key in Thailand. The platform, launched in partnership with the City of Honolulu, combines a universal municipal identification with payments functionality.


Pongsak Yingchoncharoen, mayor of Yala, a city located in the southernmost province of Thailand, commented: “Inspired by Honolulu’s City Key, Yala sees digitisation as a powerful way to bring inclusive solutions to communities. When the people of Yala feel proud of the city they live in, it will help attract more residents, businesses and tourists."


As a next step, depa will work with Mastercard to share expertise with the cities around the topic of public-private-partnerships (PPPs) through an initiative led by Mastercard’s Government Engagement unit.


In mid-2020, depa will host a World Smart City Showcase, inviting City Possible members and Thai cities to showcase their smart city best practices.


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