Information on USTDA’s Grant

Phuket Smart Cities Grant Signing
Bangkok, Thailand
September 19, 2022 

Information on USTDA’s Grant

What is USTDA?

  • The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is the U.S. Government’s international project planning agency. USTDA’s on-demand project preparation tools (grants for feasibility studies, technical assistance, and pilot projects) and partnership building programs (reverse trade missions, workshops, and training) are available to support public and private sector entities in Thailand to catalyze sustainable infrastructure development and connect with trusted technology and service providers from the United States. 

What does USTDA’s grant to Phuket provide?

  • The value of USTDA’s grant to DEPA is USD $839,420. This grant is funding technical assistance to develop the technical requirements and detailed strategy for the buildout of the Phuket Smart City Data Platform, a tool that leverages data and technology innovations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of city management and citizen services. The assistance will facilitate the upgrade of Phuket’s integrated operations center capabilities and core ICT infrastructure, including traffic control and emergency communications systems, fiberoptic networks, data servers, cloud migration, cybersecurity, and 5G.

How does this activity support Thailand 4.0 and leadership in ASEAN?  

  • Phuket is one of the 26 official members of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN), a collaborative platform where cities from the ten ASEAN Member States work towards the common goal of smart and sustainable urban development. The Phuket Smart City Data Platform, supported by USTDA’s grant, is one of Thailand’s feature projects identified under the ASCN framework and serves as reference case for many other cities in Thailand and ASEAN region.
  • Smart city development in Phuket is part of the “Thailand 4.0” framework, a national agenda and economic development model that provides a countrywide focus on the use of technology to advance national ‘security, prosperity, and sustainability’ in Thailand. Under this broad framework, the smart cities have been identified as a crucial investment for achieving national development goals.  The 20-year National Strategy (for 2018-2037), the long-term strategic framework steering Thailand towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, lays out a roadmap for implementation of Thailand 4.0 that includes a focus on livable cities and improved public administration.

How does USTDA support smart cities?

  • Globally USTDA’s project preparation and partnership building tools are advancing sustainable and resilient solutions and best practices for urban infrastructure challenges. USTDA helps cities to:
    • Prepare – Properly prepare projects to support financing and implementation.
    • Pilot – Pilot new and innovative technologies.
    • Connect – Connect with U.S. expertise, best practices, and resources.
  • USTDA has funded projects focused on smart, urban infrastructure in more than 30 countries and over 100 cities with plans to build on these efforts through the Agency’s Global Partnership for Climate-Smart Infrastructure
  • USTDA is supporting seven (7) ongoing smart cities activities across the ASEAN region, including projects in:
    • Malaysia: Johor
    • Philippines: Cebu City, and Davao
    • Thailand: Phuket
    • Vietnam: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Tam Ky City
  • USTDA’s Reverse Trade Missions (RTMs) bring public and private sector officials to the United States for 1-2 week visits to learn about U.S. technology and industry best practices.

What are other USTDA smart cities programs involving Thailand?

  • Delegates from Thailand’s Ministry of Transportation Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning will join a USTDA hosted mission to the United States on September 19-29, 2022 to familiarize Southeast Asian representatives with state-of-the-art U.S. technologies, services, and best practices to improve the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of transportation infrastructure. The mission will focus on innovations that can support the decarbonization of the transportation sector, particularly at the city level, in Southeast Asia. The delegation will attend the ITS World Congress in Los Angeles.

What is USTDA’s track record in Thailand?

  • Funding support for more than 135 major infrastructure projects with focus on energy, transportation, ICT, healthcare infrastructure and agribusiness sectors.
  • USTDA has maintained its Asia regional office in Bangkok for over two decades (since 2002) from which it supports partnership programs with Thailand and countries across Southeast Asia.

What is the U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership?

  • The U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership (USASCP) is a Department of State led initiative launched in 2018 aimed at promoting sustainable, resilient, and inclusive solutions to advance urban quality of life in Southeast Asian cities.
  • The USASCP works in partnership with numerous U.S. government agencies, as well as university and private sector partners, to support projects and programs that advance smart sustainable cities throughout the ASEAN region.

How does this activity support PGII & IPEF objectives?

  • This activity also supports digital pillars of the U.S. administration’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (“PGII”) and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (“IPEF”) with the goal of developing, expanding, and deploying secure information and communications technology (“ICT”) networks and infrastructure to catalyze economic growth and facilitate open digital societies.