International Technology Vendors address Urban Mobility, Sustainability, and Resilience Challenges in Cities across Southeast Asia

Cities across South-East Asia (SEA) face a diverse set of urbanization challenges, ranging from putting basic infrastructure in place to fuel the local economy in some of the poorest countries like Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia to making sure the economy doesn’t come to a halt in the more developed and/or fast- growing economies like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. These growing regions are facing increasing levels of congestion, pollution, waste management issues, and pressures from tourism, prompting sustainability efforts and renewable energy generation. Common to all SEA countries are resilience efforts mitigating the impact of flooding, earthquakes, and typhoons and concerns about rising traffic fatalities, and growing inequality across urban-rural divides in terms of access to healthcare, education, and employment, according to ABI Research, a global tech market advisory firm.

“With limited local expertise and a lack of home-grown technology brands, SEA countries and cities are looking abroad for sourcing smart cities solutions, support, and even financing,” says Dominique Bonte, Vice President End Markets at ABI Research. “Initiatives range from sharing best practices on an international level to partnerships with cities from Korea and Japan and commercial agreements with Asian, European, and U.S. technology suppliers.”

In April 2018, the ten ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Member States (AMS), under the smart cities leadership of Singapore, established the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) as a cooperative effort and framework to standardize, promote, and share best practices. The ASCN is also tasked with exploring complementarities, facilitating cooperation with and funding by the private sector and financial institutions in 26 selected Pilot Member Cities, each of which was linked with an external ASEAN partner to work on smart city development.

Countries and cities across ASEAN are joining forces with cities in Japan, Korea, and China. Cambodia partners with Japan on the development of smart cities and attracting more Japanese investment and the Smart City Consortium in Hong Kong. Amata City Chonburi in Thailand partnered with the Japanese city of Yokohama on feasibility studies and smart energy management through cooperation with the Yokohama Urban Solution Alliance. Additionally, partnerships are in place with the city of Incheon, Republic of Korea (development of a Korean Smart City Zone) and Hammarby / Saab Group (eco-friendly industrial area district).

Commercial relationships with international technology suppliers include ABB (Ho Chi Minh City – Water Management Solution), Cisco (Hanoi – Telemedicine Technology), Alibaba (Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia City Brain powered by Alibaba Cloud), Dassault Systemes (Virtual Singapore 3D Model),  Siemens (Bangkok – Rail-Bound Rapid Transit), Fujitsu (Jakarta Flood Information Platform (JAFIP)), and Singapore-based cryptocurrency and blockchain developer Pundi (smart city business district in Phnom Penh).

These findings are from ABI Research’s Smart Cities Case Studies in Southeast-Asia application analysis report. This report is part of the company’s Smart Cities and Smart Spaces research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.  Application Analysis reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and factors for a specific technology.

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