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ASEAN, RoK agree to join hands in building smart cities

The Republic of Korea (RoK) and 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will cooperate to build "smart cities" and explore business opportunities relating to them, according to the RoK’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

They agreed to launch a consultative council on smart city projects at a ministerial meeting during the two-day ASEAN-RoK Commemorative Summit, which opened on November 25in the port city of Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

In a smart city, big data, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and robots will be used to improve the quality of residents' lives and tackle urbanization challenges.

The Korean government aims to win smart city projects in the ASEAN market, while the 10 ASEAN member states want to share the RoK's experience and knowhow in developing cities into smart ones, it said.

"The ASEAN countries are seeking to build smart cities to help resolve a variety of urbanisation problems such as the concentration of population and flood damage.It's time to build a cooperative platform to share its smart city policies and technologies with ASEAN nations," Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee said in the statement.

The ASEAN countries' urbanisation ratio jumped from 18 percent, or 40 million people, in the 1960s to 48 percent, or 310 million, in 2017, leading to a rise in demand for smart infrastructure in cities.

As a result, they gathered in Singapore in November last year to launch a smart city network that aimed at transforming 26 ASEAN cities into smart cities.