Vice President, Mike Pence has approved a smart cities partnership between U.S. and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), in a summit, in Singapore. Pence, and Donald Trump backed Southeast Asia’s digital and urban infrastructure development, through a bilateral agreement.
Termed as the new “U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership,” the agreement focuses on digital infrastructure, energy, and technology in urban environments, according to Channel NewsAsia. It will prove to be an opportunity for the American companies to develop digital infrastructure, including payment systems, and smart transit structures, reports Voice of America.
The discussion was addressed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the East Asia Summit, Singapore. He witnessed the negotiations for regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) and talked about various issues, including smart cities.
As ASEAN member countries evolve, urbanization and digitization come into the forefront. The need for a competent digital infrastructure, has made ASEAN a potential market for American investment.
“This effort will enhance Washington’s cooperation on cybersecurity with the regional bloc.” said Pence, in an interview. He called ASEAN an “extraordinary part of the world filled with remarkable people” and emphasized on the America’s urge to economically engage with the developing region.
He sees the region as a promising sector and said that “we have begun to explore the way that our investments, and the economies of this region can contribute to growth, jobs, and opportunity in the United States.”
Collaborating U.S. technology and innovation with ASEAN smart cities network
The ASEAN smart cities network, is an initiative towards infusing digital technology with regional planning, to lead the entire region towards development.
The network is anticipated to work towards a collaborative agenda, of smart and sustainable development, and proliferation of digital innovation. Measures to create a digital economy (creating more jobs), digital government (digitization of government’s service delivery), and digital society (increasing the number of digital natives) will commence.
“The most advanced technologies do come from the U.S. ASEAN countries are keen to understand how they can partner with American companies, in order to strengthen their position as a network of smart cities.” said Lim Tai Wei, senior researcher at the National University of Singapore.