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Singapore to facilitate business opportunities with the ASEAN Smart Cities Network

Singapore to facilitate business opportunities with the ASEAN Smart Cities Network

According
to Straits
Times
, Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said the ASEAN Smart Cities
Network will facilitate business opportunities for start-ups and small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the region.

As
the Chair of ASEAN in 2018, Singapore is building the ASEAN Smart Cities
Network to connect people and economies seamlessly.

Innovation
can accelerate ASEAN’s regional economic integration and enhances regional
connectivity so that ASEAN can remain competitive and prosperous as well as exploring
new opportunities harnessing digital technologies. According to Channel
NewsAsia
, ASEAN’s digital economy is projected to grow by 500%, to around
US$200 billion (S$272 billion) by 2025.

At the
same time, innovation is also core to the region’s collective resilience in tackling
emerging security challenges such as cybersecurity, transnational crime and
terrorism.

At a
lecture
two months ago, Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan also highlighted the
importance in building cyber capabilities. He urged that ASEAN “need to step
up, and to step up urgently, collaboration on cybersecurity, because you can’t
have a smarter world, you can’t have e-commerce, you can’t have seamless
digital transactions if you don’t have cybersecurity. It’s the flip side of the
coin.”

In November
last year
, at the closing ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit, Prime
Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong first shared Singapore’s priorities as
the incoming Chair of ASEAN. To keep ASEAN a central force that can deal with
the challenges and opportunities, the key theme of Singapore’s Chairmanship is “resilient
and innovative”.

The
ASEAN Smart Cities Network is an effort to not only ride the digital wave, but
also step up engagements across Southeast Asia and beyond. Collaboration will
target digital connectivity through countries’ sharing of best practices in
terms of technology, urban governance, and sustainable development.

Earlier this
year
, Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan shared that ASEAN is working with
India to link cities into the Smart City Network, as it is also in line of
India’s national goal of 100 Smart Cities.

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