Cable link with China eyed

A pile of copper and fibre optic cables is shown in this file photo of Bangkok Post.

The government is keen to invest in a submarine cable linking Bangkok with Hong Kong and mainland China in an effort to make Thailand the digital hub of Southeast Asia.

Digital Economy and Society (DE) Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said the ministry is preparing a master plan for the project and organising roadshows to try to bring in foreign investors.

"We aim to create a new submarine cable route between China, Bangkok and Hong Kong," said Mr Pichet. "This will help Thailand become Asean's digital hub in the long run."

Mr Pichet said the cabinet has already approved 5 billion baht to invest in the submarine cable, and the ministry is choosing a suitable route for its development.

There are currently many submarine cables available, including one linking the US, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, and another linking the US and India.

Thailand's submarine cable investment will be handled by CAT Telecom's Neutral Gateway Network & Data Centre, which is tasked with investing in and operating international broadband and a data centre.

Meanwhile, Mr Pichet said the DE committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, which met for the first time yesterday, gave the go-ahead to establish Digital Park Thailand on 700 rai in the much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor.

The Digital Park Thailand project aims to support the government's ambitious policy to drive its Thailand 4.0 strategy, the digital economy policy and 10 targeted industries.

Digital Park Thailand is designated to become a new economic zone focusing on new investment in digital business development and digital innovation.

Mr Pichet said the ministry is now mapping out plans to entice the private sector to invest in the park, collaborate with international universities to develop technology and develop residential areas for those working there.

The committee also yesterday approved a digital community project which aims to help community-based businesses sell their products online.

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