Aussie partners Asean on smart cities


Australia will allocate A$30 million (RM90.6 million) to help Asean develop cities across South-East Asia in smart and sustainable ways for the next five years.

The Asean-Australia Smart Cities initiative, announced on the final day of Asean-Australia Special Summit, is to foster collaboration on smart city development and promote regional economic integration.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australia will provide training and technical assistance to build resilient and competitive communities, including through the development of an Asean Smart Cities Network.

She said Australia would also support efforts to advance sustainable urbanisation in Asean, and establish a regional urbanisation forum.

“Australia has world-class expertise to share in fields such as green infrastructure, renewable energy and data analytics.

“Australia has a long history of working with our close neighbours to support regional development.

“We look forward to working with Asean towards a more stable and prosperous region,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Bishop said Asean cities are growing at an extraordinary rate, with more than 90 million people expected to move to urban areas across South-East Asia by 2030.

“When cities grow, so does prosperity, trade and economic growth. To harness these opportunities, cities need innovative solutions, smart planning and good governance,” she said.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in his opening remarks at the Leaders’ Plenary session of the summit said the country is fully committed to backing Asean as the strategic convenor of the region.

“Over the past 50 years, Asean has used its influence to defuse tension, build peace, and encourage economic cooperation and support to maintain the rule of law.”

Turnbull said the leaders should respond with tangible initiatives for new cooperation on economic, education and security issues. — Bernama