Japan and China to collaborate on Thai smart city as first of 50 joint projects

The smart city will be built in Chonburi, Thailand

As part of their growing economic cooperation, Japan and China will announce their commitment to collaborate on around 50 private-sector, third-country infrastructure projects when they meet in Beijing on Friday, 26 October 2018, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The first will see them set out plans to work together to build a smart city in Thailand, with construction to begin as early as this year.

Japanese urban development and green technology company Yokohama Urban Solution Alliance (YUSA) will work with low-cost Chinese construction company JSCC and Thailand’s largest builder and operator of industrial parks Amata, to upgrade an industrial park in the province of Chonburi, Thailand.

China hopes the partnership will be a boon for its controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – expected to be the world’s largest infrastructure project – while Japan believes it will benefit Japanese companies who often struggle to win bids against low-cost Chinese counterparts.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also attend a forum on infrastructure investment attended by 1,400 company representatives from both nations during his visit to the Chinese capital.

The Chonburi smart-city is one of many such projects planned across for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as part of plans to transform the regions infrastructure as it experiences rapid urbanisation and dramatic population growth.

According to the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), “a smart and sustainable city is an innovative city that uses ICTs and other means to improve the quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social and environmental aspects”.

The trend for smart cities across the ASEAN region has created business opportunities for Japanese companies in a range of fields, including environmental technology, housing, automotives and public transportation, the Nikkei Asian Review said.

The Japan-China joint projects will also include more than 10 deals in finance. The automotive industry will also be involved, creating technologies for next generation vehicles while members of the oil and energy sector will collaborate to build hydrogen filling stations for fuel cell vehicles.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

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