The Thailand Digital Valley project in Chon Buri, expected to form part of the digital economy backbone, has completed the construction of the Digital Startup Knowledge Exchange Center, which is fully occupied and slated to open this year.
The centre aims to host a large community of digital startups and workers, serving as a hub of digital innovation where people can share ideas and create networks.
The complete construction of a Digital Innovation Center is slated for next year, where Huawei's artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud personnel development centre are going to be located.
In September, Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Prasert Jantanaruangthong said the Chinese tech giant accepted the ministry's invitation to develop the centre in Thailand. He made the announcement after the ministry's delegation took part in the APAC National ICT Roundtable 2023, part of the three-day Huawei Connect 2023 event in China.
According to Mr Prasert, Thailand Digital Valley is the core project under the digital transformation roadmap. The project's development began in 2019 with a budget of 4 billion baht. Mr Prasert said the project is also an important part of the Eastern Economic Corridor.
The area is meant to be a centre for designing, developing, analysing and testing advanced digital technologies and innovations, as well as promoting Thai talent on the world stage, he said.
The project, which is managed by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa), comprises five buildings with a total usable area of 100,000 square metres.
The buildings are Depa's Digital One-Stop Service Center, the Digital Startup Knowledge Exchange Center, the Digital Innovation Center, the Digital Edutainment Complex and the Digital Go Global Center.
The Digital One-Stop Service building was completed in early 2021. All five buildings are targeted for completion by 2025.
Mr Prasert paid a visit to the project on Thursday to observe its progress. Among the delegation were representatives from the private sector and state agencies, including David Li, chief executive of Huawei Technology (Thailand), and management from Krungsri Finnovate Company, Krungthai Bank and SCG Digital under SCG Group.
The group discussed ways to drive the country's digital ecosystem, reaching agreement that a shortage of digital workers requires urgent action, he said.
The ministry and Depa have worked closely with relevant agencies and educational institutions to supply digital manpower in fields where there is a skilled labour shortage, while working to accelerate the continuous creation of new workers, said Mr Prasert.
He said the Thailand Digital Valley project should increase the number of digital personnel to meet the needs of the industrial sector.
The project is expected to create more than 20,000 digital jobs in the area, said Mr Prasert.
Depa president Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin said the project will forge connections between a network of digital startups with targeted digital products and services as well as leading technology companies.
They will exchange knowledge on innovation development related to technology for designing hardware and smart devices, as well as developing big data, AI, software convergence and cloud innovation, he said.
All these technologies can be used to support local businesses, or be exported, said Mr Nuttapon.