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Smart city development from international practices
Son Nguyen 21:20, 2023/12/01
International experts and business executives recommended measure to help the development of smart cities in Vietnam.

Smart city progress should involve long-term projects and require the joint participation of all stakeholders, including governments, communities, businesses and organizations, and people.

During the Vietnam-Asia 2023 Smart City Summit held in Hanoi on November 29-30, international experts and business leaders talked to The Hanoi Times about the issues that matter to future smart metropolises.

Max Lua, General Manager cum Sales Marketing Director, Contec

Max Lua, General Manager and Sales Market Director of Contec Singapore. Photo: Son Nguyen/The Hanoi Times

Vietnam has been one of the fastest-booming countries in Southeast Asia over the last seven to eight years. Vietnam's annual GDP is always among the highest, and the Government has built a very good infrastructure for smart building connectivity. As we can see, a lot of foreign direct investment has been flowing into Vietnam for the past three to five years. The Government has done an excellent job in IoT development and infrastructure, which has attracted all these investors.

There are a lot of differences in construction and building, and there are a lot of smart buildings being built at the same time. With the successful establishment of metros, more infrastructure is being realized to connect people and businesses. So this has to be a continuous effort for the next five to ten years. We can look at Singapore, where the Government has done a good job. They have been planning for the development of the city for 30 years. So I can see that the Vietnamese Government and Hanoi are doing the right thing at the right pace.

The financial and logistics services are very critical, especially for the whole economy to grow faster, not only domestically but also for foreign direct investment. These two areas have strong growth potential. As long as the central and local governments focus on logistics and turn the city into a logistics and financial hub, you will take over many neighboring countries in no time.

In fact, in terms of 5G, because Singapore is popular for tourism, there are a lot of public, crowded places, so they use video analytics that track the data and video images and feed them to the cloud for analyzing the behavior, predicting potential dangerous actions, and then deploy the police to maintain public safety.

Kok Chin Tay, Chairman of the Smart Cities Network

  Kok Chin Tay, Chairman of ASEAN Smart Cities Network.

I think Vietnam in general has made a lot of progress in smart cities, especially Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City, which are part of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network. So the Vietnamese government, as the chair of ASEAN in 2020, has taken measures to encourage localities to become smart. Today's event, with its focus on data mining, is very timely because you need data to be smart. Data will provide information for better decision making and help government agencies to find solutions and meet the needs of citizens, so that they can become operationally efficient, get feedback from citizens, and most importantly, create jobs for the cities and the country.

There are two types of areas. First, for the public sector, the government needs to ensure its ability to attract investment into the country for better exports and to develop a competitive economy. We think the Vietnamese government is doing the right thing by providing jobs for its citizens and being open to investment. Secondly, for the business community, there is a lot of work to be done. You have a population of almost 100 million, and business solution providers need to show innovation.

I think the relationship between the private and public sectors is not yet strong. I recommend that the government set up a model to encourage private sector participation in smart cities. Another important thing is to involve young leaders and students in the development of smart cities.

Kapil Chaudhery, Smart Cities Solutions Expert, Spatial Decision Vietnam

 Kapil Chaudhery, Smart Cities Solutions Expert, Spatial Decision Vietnam.

It's not easy to come up with straightforward solutions to this. But I think we should take different areas of the city and develop strategies for each area. Don't try to deal with the whole city at once, but do specific strategies. People can get involved and then localized solutions can be much better.

It's fantastic and valuable for us to have actual demonstration projects. We have done too much talk and not enough action. We are working on a community-based concept called Sponge Gardens for cities. We'd like to see similar things in Hanoi so that neighborhoods can take their available space, green space, see nature, smart city, green city, and come together. And behind that, we'll build more ideas. People will believe more if they see more, not hear more.

The concept of smart city should really be about smart use of resources, which means being smart about how we use money, resources, the environment, and how people interact with each other. It's not always about technology, it's really about the environment we live in. If you take away the word "IT", it is just a tool to support the creation of a smart city. It is the decisions and actions that should be smart. If people enjoy living in the city and become healthier, then our economy will be better and we will have a better life.

Here in Vietnam, we have developed the smart city plan for three cities. It didn't get funded, and that was before the Covid-19 pandemic. Now we're picking up the same relationships again. But we have learned a lot in the last few years. So we're changing our direction a little bit and we're trying to bring in investment as well as government money because we know that the government can only provide a certain amount of funding. So we want to see public-private partnerships in this effort.

Rein Gazalba - Chief Operating Officer

 Rein Gazalba, Chief Operating Officer, Encosys Delameta Bilano.

Encosys Delameta Bilano is a company based in Indonesia. In Vietnam, we already have a strategic partner - VDI (Vietnam Digital Investment). We cooperate in Vietnam market through technology to bring smart cities and various solutions for the government and community.

Basically, Vietnam and Indonesia face the same problems and share the same values. So we can bring what we have in Indonesia to Vietnam. Of course, with additional information and help from our local partner, we can adapt to the environment and help Hanoi and other Vietnamese localities become smart cities.

Our expectation is that we can serve Hanoi and Vietnam with technologies that fit the people and the government to have an easier life, and more. I hope we have the support of the local government to develop and deploy these smart city solutions in Hanoi.

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