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[ASEAN-Korea Summit] Korea, ASEAN to partner on smart cities at ministerial level

BUSAN -- South Korea and the 10 member states of ASEAN agreed to form a consultative body at the ministerial level for sustainable cooperation in the smart city sector at a meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit, officials said Monday.

The ASEAN-ROK Ministerial Meeting on Smart City took place Monday, hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport and the Presidential Committee on New Southern Policy. It was attended by ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, seven land ministers from Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, and three vice ministers from Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam. 


Land ministers from the ASEAN nations and Korea discuss smart city issues in the region at a ministerial meeting held Monday in Busan. (MOLIT)
Land ministers from the ASEAN nations and Korea discuss smart city issues in the region at a ministerial meeting held Monday in Busan. (MOLIT)

Through the consultative body, Korea and ASEAN are expected to have more exchanges and participation in the smart city field in the future, with the aim of sharing solutions to challenges and finding practical ways to cooperate in the region, according to the Land Ministry.

During the ministerial meeting -- presided over by Thailand’s digital economy and society minister, Buddhipongse Punnakanta -- the 10 member states of ASEAN expressed their willingness to partner with Korea, which has experience in new town development and state-of-the-art information and communication technologies.

They hoped for cooperative projects such as the exchange of experiences for smart city development and basic design projects.


Land Minister Kim Hyun-mee speaks Monday in Busan at a ministerial meeting on smart cities. (MOLIT)
Land Minister Kim Hyun-mee speaks Monday in Busan at a ministerial meeting on smart cities. (MOLIT)

Land Minister Kim Hyun-mee said, “Smart city is an essential agenda (item) for ASEAN countries facing various urban problems, such as population concentration and water disasters. It is time for a cooperation platform to exchange Korea’s smart city policies and technologies with ASEAN countries.”

Kim added, “Today’s ministerial meeting is an opportunity to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN member countries in the smart city field. It will also play a role in expanding Korean companies’ expansion into the construction market in the ASEAN countries.”

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport shared achievements related to smart city cooperation with Southeast Asia in the areas of urban development, safety, transportation and water management. It also proposed diverse ways to expand such cooperation.

The ministry plans to support four ASEAN countries through the Korea Smart City Open Network from 2020 to develop comprehensive plans and prefeasibility studies connected to the smart city business.

K-SCON is a pilot project to establish an international cooperation system among countries -- especially those in Southeast Asia, South America and the Middle East -- interested in Korean smart city models.

The ministry plans to create a 1.5 trillion won ($1.2 billion) fund for plants, construction and smart cities. Of the amount, it will invest around 300 billion won in ASEAN smart city development projects.

At the ministerial meeting, three agreements were signed to promote specific smart-city cooperation projects among Korean public institutions and ASEAN local governments and public institutions.

The Korea Environment Institute partnered with Cambodia’s city of Battambang for a drainage system. Korea Land & Housing Corp. signed a deal with the Malaysian state of Sabah for the development of smart cities. The Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements agreed to cooperate with Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency for intelligent transportation and city development.

The Land Ministry also signed ministerial working agreements with Singapore and Brunei, respectively, to strengthen cooperation for the development of smart cities. 

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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