Innovation and transformation of Macau to be a smart city

Macau govt has signed a 4-year strategic cooperation agreement with Alibaba Group, aiming to promote gradual transformation of Macau as new smart city

By MACAU MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION / Pic By BLOOMBERG

The concept of “smart city” was first originated from International Business Machines Corp’s idea of “smart earth” in 2008. A smart city is to integrate the Internet of Things technology, and the information and communication technology in a secure way to govern the assets of the city.

With the fast development of the big data and cloud computing technology, “smart city” is no longer a concept, but has become an urban development trend globally.

Macau government has signed a four-year strategic cooperation agreement with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd aiming to promote the gradual transformation of Macau as a new smart city.

As one of the leading organisations in cloud computing technology industry in the world, Alibaba will get involved in establishing a cloud computation centre in Macau and in improving the construction of the city’s infrastructure, such as optimising the overall system of transportation as well as the information system of the government.

By building Macau a smart city, we are going to improve the industrial environment, enhance people’s standard of living and strengthen the city’s competitiveness.

It is foreseeable that Macau will step in the “cloud era” and receive a rapid technological leap in the next few years.

It will alleviate the problem of social livelihoods that have plagued the local society for many years and improve the overall livability.

On the other hand, it will enable Macau to fully integrate with the cities within the “Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area” and accelerate its further involvement in “One Belt, One Road”.

Summarising from past experiences, a smart city’s construction is based on the establishment of big data.

A key factor is to fulfil the intelligent processing of the digital information in order to support the smooth operation of the city.

Understanding the data can dominate the market! The way we process the big data will determine the core competitiveness of enterprises.

In the big data era, enterprises obtain valuable information by collecting and analysing a large number of internal and external data.

By digging this data, companies are able to predict the market demand and trend, thus make an intelligent analysis for decision-making.

Although Macau’s economy is dominated by the gaming and tourism industry, the society is currently experiencing the structural adjustment period.

The government is paying more attention to the innovative value of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Local SMEs are encouraged to achieve sustainable development through creation and innovation. As we know, Alibaba is “the expert” at transforming the innovative atmosphere and industrial structure.

We would expect that our local SMEs will have a comprehensive upgrade in their e-business capacity.

It is believed that there will be a strong wave of innovation in the business model for the large number of SMEs in Macau.

How to provide more employment opportunities and upsides for the young people in Macau through the construction of a smart city is one of the MAP concerns by the Macau residents and the government.

In the strategic cooperation agreement between the two sides, the cultivation of local youth talents in Macau is also one of the important elements.

In the process of building the smart city, it is crucial to form a personnel training system led by the government, and supported by universities and research institutes to train and cultivate our professionals.

The cooperation between Macau and Alibaba is described as a landmark event in Macau history. It brings new opportunities as well as new challenges.

For example, the information security and the information island will be two important issues that affect the success of the construction of a smart city.

Hence, in addition to the agreement with Alibaba, it requires a visionary and enterprising government to complete this revolutionary project.