The multinational technology corporation, IBM, chose Pattaya under the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge which is a project that develops the city using technology in hopes to attract investment before taking a lead in the economy.
Ms. Punsiree Amatayakul, President of IBM Thailand Co., Ltd. said, “The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a three-year project (2011-2013) in which IBM helps develop a city that has outstanding potential to attract investment and become a leader on the social and economic scale. This project has and will continue to select a total of 100 cities worldwide to create more intelligence through the use of information technology and strategic plan to sustain development through the vision “IBM Smarter Cities Program.”
“This is a US$50 million project with only 33 cities chosen this year from 40 countries. Apart from Chonburi, other cities that were chosen are Atlanta, Birmingham and New Taipei City, just to name a few.”
“With Chonburi selected to represent Thailand, this means the city has the potential to be a leader in the economic sphere as well as having long-term vision and a committed management team that combines technology with the economy in various sectors. The local government will also demonstrate its participation and desire to help improve the quality of life of the local people. This is the most important criterion in the selection process. The city that we pick is the city we would chose to do business with, whether it is from a developed or developing country. The reason we have chosen Chonburi is because of its potential and its ability to attract investment in various sectors of industry, its available resources, and its position as the second most significant city contributing to the country’s economy.”
Governor of Chonburi Komsan Ekkachai said, “I am very proud that Chonburi was chosen. This will surely help develop not only the city itself but also Thailand on a national level. Nevertheless, Chonburi will continue to strive to be a ‘livable city’ coupled with its position as a leading economic center and tourist hub of the country. Chonburi will focus on strengthening the travel industry, which will stimulate business and real estate both directly and indirectly.”
“To develop the capacity of these business sectors, their growth will be managed without losing sight of the residents’ quality of life, all the while insuring a sustainable environment, and building and better government services. By having Chonburi chosen to be part of IBM’s project means that Chonburi and Pattaya City will receive a fully comprehensive development system that will help achieve Pattaya’s vision within an accelerated time-frame.”
IBM will provide support by sending experts like IBM executives to work together with Chonburi and Pattaya as well as various industry leaders to jointly develop a strategic plan for the city in the areas of education opportunities, growth profile among others. The role of technology and expertise will guide the focus and progress for the city’s way of life that will increase national and regional economic competitiveness. In these ways, systematic growth within a sustained environment will be assured.
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