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INSIGHTS

Philippine government works with foreign companies to build smart cities

Philippine government works with foreign companies to build smart cities
The Philippines Smart City Summit 2018 is currently held in the Quezon City, which is championing the smart city development in the country. Attendants from around the world are discussing smart city concepts, theories and best practices that will advance digital capacity. The event is attended by government officia
The Philippines Smart City Summit 2018 is currently held in the Quezon City, which is championing the smart city development in the country. Attendants from around the world are discussing smart city concepts, theories and best practices that will advance digital capacity.

The event is attended by government officials from Russia, South Korea, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Belgium, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Sudan, Nepal, Kenya, Tunisia and Mongolia. Representatives from these countries also shared their vision of smart cities.

Delegates are expected to form a Smart City Urban Agenda. One common goal among the attendants is figuring out how to build smart cities more effectively. Best practices of both developing and developed countries on how local governments can provide legal framework, coordinate stakeholders and engage citizens will be shared in the workshops.

A goal of the summit is to draw up implementation plans at local government levels in the Philippines. Moreover, collaboration between public and private sectors across international borders are expected to be formed at the event, to facilitate smart city development in different countries.

Collaboration with Swedish companies

It is worth mentioning that the Philippines has already solicited foreign assistance recently. Philippines-Sweden Smart City Collaboration was held in New York on Oct. 4, by the Embassy of Sweden in Manila and Business Sweden.

Almost 150 participants gathered to listen to speakers from a number of Swedish companies. Several representatives of the Philippine government were also present and shared their visions and plans for a number of upcoming large infrastructure projects, Manila-based BusinessMirror reported

Three different sessions were held at the event. ABB headed a session on energy management. Volvo and Sweco focused on urban mobility, while Axis Communications shared experiences from working to improve public safety in metropolitan cities.

As the Philippine government makes a big push for infrastructure construction, as well as developing innovative smart cities, and with Swedish companies at the forefront of sustainability promotion, the Embassy of Sweden expressed optimism about the Philippine-Swedish collaboration.

It also said that more Swedish companies are beginning to discover opportunities in the Philippines, which has shown a genuine interest to work with foreign companies to improve the urban situation.

Focus areas of development

Ulf Wennbom, Business Sweden Country Manager of the Philippines, pointed out the locations that are prime for smart city development, according to Eagle News. “We're very interested in Davao, Cebu and Iloilo as our prime targets.”

Wennbom also indicated three focus areas that have more collaboration potential: intelligent transportation, renewable energy and digitalization in public safety using smart cameras.

The Philippines government has sets eyes on improving the transportation sector, or smart infrastructure powered by the technology. The Philippines is 20 years behind the expected infrastructure that has to be in place for any country to be fully developed, according to Arthur Tugade, head of the Philippines' Department of Transportation. “We have to do a lot of planning and pushing so that we can achieve a smart infrastructure,” he said.
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