Horng Shya Chua, Managing Director, Oracle Singapore, shares an expert opinion on how Smart Cities must think.
Digital innovations developed across Southeast Asia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are a testament to the region’s ongoing commitment to building a range of “smart” infrastructure and applications.
The Singapore government, already a leader with its cutting-edge Smart Nation initiative, has deployed two mobile apps—SafeEntry and TraceTogether—to curb future COVID-19 infections by determining if individuals were in close proximity to someone who later tested positive for the virus.
Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the Malaysian government has developed the MySejahtera app to assist it in monitoring COVID-19 outbreaks, help users monitor their health and risk of infection, and assist them in getting treatments if needed. State agencies in Thailand collaborated on developing the DDC-Care mobile app, which helps people self-assess whether they have contracted COVID-19 and tracks those who travelled from at-risk countries and thus must quarantine themselves for 14 days.
The pandemic has taught us that there are no simple solutions, but we can overcome them together. A vital platform is the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, where cities from the 10 ASEAN member states learn from one another’s experiences working with global partners to adopt smart technology, as they advance their common goal of sustainable urban development. “We must deepen collaboration and create new opportunities to exchange information and experiences at the regional level,” emphasized Dr Amy Khor, Singapore’s senior minister for sustainability and the environment, at a recent event.
Make better, faster decisions together
Partnerships with vendors play a crucial role in bringing emerging technologies to the public sector. For example, in late 2018, the Singapore government announced a five-year plan to migrate most of its on-premises IT systems to commercial cloud services. As of late last year, it reportedly had moved more than 150 such systems to the commercial cloud and had negotiated contracts that year alone valued at over S$870 million to double its number of commercial cloud systems.
While Singapore’s ambitious moves make it an exceptional example for aspiring smart cities, other countries in Southeast Asia are not far behind. According to a recent study by think tank ESI ThoughtLab, sponsored by Oracle and other partners, most of the region’s major cities are investing heavily in cloud and cloud-based AI technology services, and more plan to do so within three years.
However, while government agencies recognize that cloud services will enable them to innovate at scale faster than ever before, they still have security, regulatory compliance, and budget concerns. That could be why 83% of ASEAN city leaders say they prefer a hybrid cloud approach to deploying smart city services. Hybrid clouds allow cities to keep the most sensitive data and workloads on premises, integrated with more open, citizen-centric, collaborative workloads in the cloud.
Meanwhile, cloud service providers and other large organizations with specialized expertise are working hand-in-hand to move this emerging technology beyond the research labs and into the mainstream. For instance, Singapore-headquartered iviva has developed and implemented proprietary software solutions for workplace management and smart buildings. With the facilities management solution of iviva’s application suite, iviva.facility, hosted on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), iviva’s mission is to help its customers coordinate management of day-to-day operations of existing premises, delivering time and cost savings and operational efficiencies over the entire building life-cycle.
Another area where AI holds great promise is in relieving traffic congestion, a major cause of environmental pollution as well as frustration in major Southeast Asian cities such as Manila, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur. Road congestion currently costs Asian economies 2% to 5% of their gross domestic products every year, according to a McKinsey report, an amount forecasted to exceed US$35 billion by 2030.
Singapore’s Smart Mobility 2030 plan aims to help city planners reduce those environmental and economic costs, by working with industry partners to apply AI algorithms to diverse datasets in order to manage train, bus, car, and bicycle traffic in real-time. The Malaysian state of Selangor is pursuing a similar agenda with its Smart Selangor initiative.
Adopt a ‘whole-of-world’ approach, building an ecosystem of opportunities
The main goal of these public-private digital initiatives and information-sharing is to enhance the quality and accessibility of services, and thereby improve the quality of citizens’ lives.
Global dialogues such as the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting and the World Cities Summit, both taking place in Singapore this year, bring city leaders and industry experts together to discuss the most pressing urban challenges, share solutions, and forge new partnerships.
Collectively, leveraging innovation and entrepreneurship strengthens the region’s capacity to create an ecosystem of opportunities as well as demonstrate what is possible for the rest of the world to emulate.
While the right digital infrastructure and services give smart cities the capabilities they need to solve their most important challenges and seize the biggest opportunities, just as important is building an ecosystem of trusted partners to develop and extend those sustainable solutions.
Horng Chua is speaking at an OpenGov event on – Making Smart City System More Efficient, Robust and Event Smarter with Digital Twin
The transaction value in Vietnam’s science-technology market posted an average annual growth of 22% during the 2011-2020 period, according to data from a recent conference reviewing the ten-year development of the market.
The conference focused on assessing the achievements and shortcomings in the development of the science and technology market over the last decade and set orientations for the next ten years. Vietnam currently has over 800 market intermediaries and the number of transaction platforms rose from eight before 2015 to 20 in 2020.
Along with traditional intermediaries, new-style organisations have developed strongly, with 69 business incubators and 28 business promotion programmes. In the 2020 Global Innovation Index (GII), Vietnam ranked 42nd among 131 economies. Among those making the most significant progress in their GII innovation ranking over time, Vietnam led 29 lower-middle-income countries and was third in Southeast Asia. Last year, it moved up 13 places from the previous year to 59th in the rankings of 100 economies with the best start-up ecosystems.
According to a news report, Tran Van Tung, the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, said that during the 2021-2030 period the Ministry will focus on completing the legal environment and promoting scientific and practical research for the development of the science and technology market. It will also work to remove barriers facing development, improve human resources training, and develop national infrastructure for the market.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) plans to accelerate the implementation of the national e-commerce development master plan of 2021-2025 to keep up with the growth of digital trading activities. Recently, the Head of the MoIT’s E-Commerce and Digital Economy Department said that by 2020, 53% of the population participated in online shopping. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, local e-commerce revenue grew 18%, reaching US$11.8 billion, accounting for 5.5% of total retail sales, consumer goods, and services nationwide.
With the support of electronic payments, the Ministry will focus on developing e-commerce infrastructure, building, and perfecting institutions and legal frameworks for e-commerce, creating a transparent and favourable legal environment for businesses and consumers in the country.
Vietnam is considered one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia. Industry insiders say that e-commerce will continue to strongly grow this year. It will create a new impetus for economic growth, creating an opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to build new business strategies, and approach modern distribution channels to expand markets to recover from the pandemic.
MoIT’s E-Commerce and Digital Economy Department plans to implement the GoOnline programme this year to accompany local businesses. The programme will include telecommunications, technology, and e-commerce systems, manufacturers, traders, and individuals nationwide.
The Ministry will strengthen the coordination, inspection, examination, and violation handling in e-commerce. It will step up training for State management officials and owners of e-commerce exchanges on protected trademarks to solve disputes. This will also help detect counterfeit products, goods of unknown origin, and goods infringing intellectual property rights.
Last year, the MoIT applied blockchain technology to trace the origin of goods for some agricultural products to improve the brand and promote exports of agricultural products to developed countries as the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was ratified.
The Ministry also built a total solution for logistics service exchanges between logistics businesses and shippers to facilitate e-commerce delivery services. It supported businesses to apply technology in digital transformation. Along with the national master plan, the MoIT will submit to the government an amended decree on e-commerce to enhance the integration, connection, and sharing of data between it and cities through the National Public Service Portal.
The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s lead agency in digital transformation, in collaboration with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) had recently called on tech companies from both countries to participate in a virtual event that outlined programmes and initiatives which aim to boost bilateral digital trade and investment via the Australia-Malaysia Tech Exchange (AMTX). The webinar took place on 6 May 2021.
The announcement follows the comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in December 2020 which is a core component of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) jointly announced as the elevation of diplomatic relations between both countries at the Australia-Malaysia Leaders’ Virtual Summit in January 2021 by both our Prime Ministers.
The MDEC CEO stated, “Australia is an important trading partner and we are looking forward to building closer bilateral trade relations in the areas of digital trade and investment via this programme. We are committed to providing our utmost support to strengthen the tech ecosystems in both countries for mutual success. Effective collaboration will improve innovation as we look to stimulate the growth of the digital economy in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL).”
To further enable the entry and expansion of Australian tech companies into Malaysian markets, MDEC offers the Malaysian Tech Entrepreneur Programme (MTEP) which provides a one-year pass to new entrepreneurs and a five-year pass to established ones. Moreover, the Malaysia Digital Hub (MDH) programme is also available to provide support with co-working spaces, thereby easing the market entry process.
MDEC and Austrade have also set up a one-stop platform to provide assistance and guidance to tech companies looking to make Malaysia their base for expansion into the wider ASEAN region and beyond. Interested companies will only need to fill up a form here and MDEC will revert accordingly to provide the necessary support.
It was noted that Austrade sees AMTX as a business-focused platform to support and enhance public-private partnerships between tech service providers and larger corporates with support from both Australian and Malaysian governments. The MDEC Vice President of the Digitally-Powered Businesses division noted that the agency is confident they can mutually benefit and grow both nations’ digital economies by creating an equitable, inclusive and technologically integrated society in line with Malaysia 5.0.
AMTX was introduced to drive digital collaboration among tech companies from both nations, facilitate and create pathways for bilateral trade and investment in the digital economy, provide platforms and avenues for collaboration and innovation in the digital economy reducing digital trade barriers and promote consistent and open digital trade rules in the region.
Both nations have cooperated closely on digital trade and investment for decades. Australian investments in Malaysia from 1997 to 2018, via the Multimedia Super Corridor, totalled RM2.53 billion (US$617 million), with 41 active companies in the market. Australian tech companies are drawn to Malaysia by its strategic location, attractive business environment, and reliable infrastructure.
Australia is a key market for many Malaysian tech companies for expansion, with the country being a key market for testing products before a European or North American expansion. In recent years, 11 Malaysian tech companies having been listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), making the country an appealing business destination.
Since its inception, MDEC’s market access programme has formed partnerships with over 200 parties globally and forged over 800 business matching opportunities for its portfolio companies. All of this has resulted in over US$1 Billion in digital export revenue. This new MoU will build upon that success and further strengthen the digital relationship between the two countries.
To date, MSC Malaysia has attracted a cumulative RM345 billion investments, creating close to 185,000 jobs. This mostly came from multinationals that have opened their global business services and regional operations here in Malaysia. Malaysia is also ranked second in ASEAN and 26th globally in the recent IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2020.
Malaysia’s diversified multi-lingual and digitally-skilled talent pool; ready infrastructure and thriving digital economy ecosystem has led it to be recognised as a first-mover for the high-value digital business services in the region.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the process of digital transformation in businesses and has urged companies to consider their own resources and conditions to ensure and increase efficiency, according to a news report. For instance, workers at a construction site in Hanoi use FaceID on their smartphones to register their arrival at work making it faster and more convenient to clock on. In the logistics sector, the application of technology is growing as drivers use their smartphones to track routes and shipments.
A recent study showed that the participation of SMEs in Vietnam in the digital transformation process could contribute US$24-30 billion to the country’s GDP by 2024, and significantly help with post-pandemic recovery. According to the Vietnam Logistics Association, 50%-60% of logistics enterprises are applying technology in their operations. At Sai Gon Newport Corporation, the application of an advanced management system helped reduce the time shipments stayed at the port by 55% and reduce delivery time by 75%.
An industry analyst noted that digital transformation is an inevitable trend of enterprises, especially during the current pandemic. If enterprises were slow in digital transformation, they would face difficulties when competing with others, especially in the rapid international integration. Digital transformation is not simply buying software or technology. Enterprises must pay attention to their resources and conditions to ensure the efficient process of digital transformation.
Under the digital transformation programme during the 2021-25 period, the Ministry of Planning and Investment wants 100% of enterprises to receive training in digital transformation to enhance their digital awareness. Micro and small enterprises, despite accounting for 96.7% of the total number of enterprises in Vietnam, contributed 40% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and provided 60% of jobs. However, due to their limited budgets, they had not benefited much from the digital transformation, the report said.
Digital transformation solution providers often paid more attention to government agencies and medium and large enterprises that had a greater budget and were often located in major cities. Nguyen Van Khoa, CEO of FPT, said that there were about five million household businesses in Vietnam who were also subject to digital transformation at different levels. Statistics have revealed that 50% of SMEs went bankrupt in the first five years and 90% in the next five years, stressing that the competition would be much fiercer in the digital transformation.
Digital transformation is accelerating the transition to a digital economy, which is enabling enterprises to develop platforms to promote their operation and business. It is more convenient for big enterprises to digitally transform because they have their own ecosystems while SMEs do not have a budget to digitise their operations.
The government aims to be in the top 40 performers in the Global Innovation Index (GII), the top 30 in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), and the top 50 in the United Nations’ e-Government Development Index (EGDI) by 2030.
The country also aims to raise the proportion of the digital economy in national GDP to 30% and boost productivity by 7.5% annually on average. Other targets for digital transformation are to achieve universal access to fibre-optic internet and 5G services; complete digital government development; and establish smart cities in key economic zones as well as connect with regional and global networks of smart cities.
Over the years, technology has revolutionised the world and daily life, giving rise to innovative tools and resources that can aid in everyday endeavours. Modern technology has paved the way for multi-functional devices – computers, phones and smart tools are increasingly faster, more portable and higher-powered than ever before. No doubt, with all this, life is easier, faster and better.
In line with market place progress, the public sector must also adapt as it pursues its mission to serve citizens, ensuring their safety and well-being. Technology related innovation is critical to accomplish this especially in the new normal brought by the pandemic.
With advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, governments can put data to work improving outcomes for citizens. Powering governments at all levels, these technologies allow for better, faster and more cost-effective decisions that could make a significant difference in the lives of the citizens.
Malaysia is a nation that has embraced digital transformation wholeheartedly. MyDigital – the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint – is a road map for the country’s transformation into a regional digital powerhouse by 2030. It outlines a new and comprehensive approach to existing information and digital technology initiatives.
An integral part is the ramping up of cloud computing services in the public sector. Through its Cloud First strategy, it has targeted the migration of 80% of public data to hybrid cloud systems by the end of 2022. The cloud-first directive will provide for a more effective and smooth data collection and management while helping reduce costs in the long run. Such cloud services will allow Big Data, AI, IoT and other applications to be widely deployed to enhance and strengthen citizen services.
The OpenGov Asia Tech Day on 7 May 2021 aimed to impart knowledge on how public sector agencies could apply real-world AI and analytics applications to provide exceptional citizen services more cost-effectively while guarding against waste and abuse as well as facilitating better outcomes.
This session served as a great peer-to-peer learning platform to gain insights and practical solutions to understand the value of using analytics to extract value from data to make better, faster and more cost-effective, data-driven decisions that make a difference in the lives of the citizens. The virtual event powerfully demonstrated how agencies can turn data into an asset – automating critical tasks, detecting and preventing waste and abuse and embracing efficiency.
Unlocking the Value of Data
To kickstart the session, Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia delivered the opening address.
The fact is, well before the current crises, citizens were getting more demanding as they were used to technology making things available anywhere, anytime and on-demand. Further, during the pandemic, government services could not slow down and indeed, scaled up significantly as the need was pressing and essential.
Effective services, relief packages and pandemic counter-measure all rely heavily on data and information. Research shows in the COVID-19 era, more data than ever before, was collected. But in and of itself, data can do nothing. Mohit emphasised users must fully understand what data can do for you. Most people do not know where to start – that is where problems come from. Users need to investigate the depth and scale of data not play on its surface. Governments and their agencies need to understand datasets by incorporating disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Most executives concede that the pandemic gave rise to ad-hoc solutions and band-aid measures. The question, Mohit asks is, can governments run the way they have been running the past few months more efficiently and innovatively? Understanding and the proper utilisation of data can help with that.
In closing, Mohit urged the delegates to find the right partners for their data and digital journey. If they are to stay ahead of the curve, it is vital to work with experts who can guide them along the right path.
Empowering Malaysia with Data Analytics
The delegates next welcomed by Nik Ariff Nik Omar, Director of Sales, Government Linked Companies, Public Sector & Telecommunications, SAS Malaysia.
SAS’ mission, Nik clarified, is to empower Malaysia during this challenging time and also help the country realise its digital potential. Their mission is entirely in keeping with the nation’s MyDigital vision to invigorate the economy that rests on five main priorities:
- Fight corruption
- Mitigate fraud and instil governance
- Increase revenue by reducing leakages and tackling the dark economy
- Improve public safety and security and safeguard the border
- Provide better education, healthcare and environment for diverse citizens
From a SAS perspective, their forte is empowerment with trusted analytics. After 45 years in business, they are convinced that the key is analytics – core to providing insights to solve problems. A staggering 91% of Fortune 100 companies use their services and platforms for data and analytics life cycles of different maturities for their mission-critical use cases.
They have over 15,000 staff to deliver know-how, solutions, services and training with speed, discipline and commitment. SAS has 83,000 successful sites worldwide, including over 160 in Malaysia with 96% satisfaction. The organisation invests 27% in R&D for continued relevancy, producing best in class solutions and to anticipate clients’ future problems now.
The gamification session consisted of three scenarios and three rounds with delegates divided into five city councils. Teams (councils) were provided with a list of solutions to choose from to help resolve their scenario. Solutions had been pre-classified according to optimal/non-optimal answers but were not revealed to the teams. The greater the number of optimal answers chosen by teams as their recommended solutions, the more points they received.
Teams were also able to provide wild card answers which were solutions of their own. The suitability of these wild card solutions would be determined by the game facilitators.
Gamification Session I
Scenario 1 was building a city of the future / smart city. With the increase in population and diversifying of industries and economies, advancement in technology and digitalisation, decision-makers who part of the city council should plan to ensure that the city keeps pace and provide the optimum infrastructure and services to the people, community and businesses.
There was a lot of discussion within each team and divergent views between the teams. After a robust round of discussion and interaction, the optimal solutions were shared:
- Identify all relevant sources of data (internal or external) that are available and relevant
- Obtain additional data that is deemed crucial to paint a clearer and holistic picture
- Prepare the data into a structure ready for analysis/analytics
- Explore the data by applying analytical methods
- Perform further analysis and scenarios with different variables and goals
- Identify key stakeholders that require the analysis and their specific requirements
- Share and collaborate the analysis with other stakeholders to gather further inputs and additional data to refine the analysis
The SAS team also provided some additional insights on smart city development through applying the right tools and key capabilities in visual data analytics. The key capabilities are:
- Data preparation: Access to different data sources, training-validation data partitioning, feature engineering (e.g. parameters, interactions) and variable selection and missing values
- Data exploration and analytics: Discover relationships, trends, outliers, clusters, 3rd-party visualisations, forecasting and scenario analysis, decision trees and text analysis, auto-charting, suggestive visualisations, related measures and automated explanation.
- Interactive reporting: Responsive and precise layouts, dashboard creation, report formatting for user interactivity; filters, prompts, linking, etc, share, interact and collaborate
- Collaboration and info sharing: Mobile apps, desktop applications, web and other collaboration applications
- Predictive analytics
Gamification session II
Scenario 2 saw teams having to utilise analytics to predict and improve outcomes concerning their smart cities. The groups were given a catalyst project – flood prediction. As the first smart project, they were asked to leverage IoT and advanced analytics capabilities to help them predict the outcome planning and budgeting.
After another round of discussion and the teams’ choices tallied, the optimal solutions were shared:
- Define the overall objective, use-cases and key scenarios of the project
- Identify all relevant sources of data (internal or external) that are available and relevant
- Obtain real-time data from either existing equipment or sensors
- Design the overall solution architecture required to cater for the objectives, scenarios and data
- Define the models required for the use-cases and the results you would like to attain
- Develop the models required for each scenario using advanced analytics techniques such as AI/ML techniques to model the prediction
- Deploy the model, refined and improve it along with new data and scenarios
Relating to IoT in smart cities, SAS mentioned that leaders must lower response time and improve operational efficiencies. They should also be aware of the situation by providing real-time visualisation of a data emergency response and automatically alert its staff by having automated triggers on data. They must provide insight to manage preventive maintenance and provide tools and a forecasting model for predictive analysis. Alerting citizens using different media such as online apps and opt-in subscription for residents is also vital. Governments must also downstream regional and state partners for data integration. Lastly, prediction and analysis improvement by creating an anomaly model, predicting incident model and pre-event impact model.
Gamification session III
By completing their first catalyst project using AI/IoT, the councils now look to expand on other smart city focus area. One area that is of high visibility and top of the list of citizens’ concerns is escalating crime and illegal activities. While it is not under the jurisdiction of the city council to combat crime, the city, with its infrastructure (e.g., CCTV) and data (on citizen, location, events, etc.) would be able to provide valuable input for crime detection and prevention.
The teams now look to set up their city’s command centre equipped with the intelligent capability to monitor, detect, alert and prevent criminal events.
Different views and ideas relating to the last scenario were shared between each team. Their selections were tallied once again. The list of optimal solutions for the final scenario was revealed:
- Obtain more data from external sources (other agencies data, social media, news, blogs, etc)
- Setup your “command centre” structure with roles and responsibilities
- Define the entity or events that need to be monitored as high-risk for investigation
- Define criteria or rules for alerting on potential high-risk individual/events
- Determine the minimal attributes of the entity or events to form a case for investigation
- Design workflows to guide your team through defined tasks as they carry out everyday work
The SAS team, again, provided key capabilities of a visual investigator:
- Entity search
- Alert and triage
- Case and investigation management
- Social network analysis
Entities can be alerts, individuals, companies, specific transactions or scenarios. Searches can be performed on any data stored in the solution database. Simple and advanced searches are easily configurable as per user requirements.
Alerts are the ‘smoke alarm’ of the system. It can be generated from a combination of rules, models or manually where required. They are also created based on configuration, calculations scores and thresholds driven by the customer requirements. Each alert will be supported by a comprehensive set of information of why the alerts were generated, entity details, related hits and social network analysis.
Cases can be generated automatically or manually where required. They can be configured to support each capability, audit, investigations, collections etc. Cases can be populated with any of the data available in the solution that is needed to successfully close it and achieve the desired result.
Lastly, not to be confused with Social Media, Social Network Analysis provides a visual representation of the link between entities and other relevant information (such as phone numbers, addresses, relationships etc.) Social Network diagrams are generated automatically for every alert. They can also be manually updated.
The session concluded with a closing address from Nik Ariff Nik Omar. He thanked the delegates in attendance for participating and contributing throughout the session. He was confident that the exercises and discussions gave a deeper understanding of data and the different scenarios that come with it.
Mohit, after announcing the winners of the gamification sessions, also thanked the delegates. He acknowledged that governments are continuously trying to make decisions without having real insights and events, like the OpenGov Asia Tech Day go a long way in helping.
The reality, Mohit emphasised, is not about how much data you have, but about truly understanding the data you gather and store. More likely than not, governments will find the right response by unlocking the true value of data. From the feedback and interaction, he felt that much light had been shed on varying scenarios relating to data. He once again urged delegates to find the right partners on their data journey who could make their experience easier, smoother and effective.
Meetings today are better than they were five years ago. And technology is at the heart of this transformation. Meeting attendees are confident using digital technologies and overwhelmingly prefer meetings that use technology.
Meetings should be short, with few people in them. Focus on what needs to be done, then move on. Technology is key to enabling this. It makes meetings more interesting, engaging and enjoyable for attendees. In particular, solutions making meetings more visual – such as large built-in displays, screen sharing and video – are drivers of engagement.
74% of companies plan to shift to more hybrid work post-COVID-19!
In this whitepaper, we reveal our findings for Europe. Region-specific whitepapers for the US, China, India and the Pacific are also available, as well as a Global version. We hope you find this whitepaper stimulating and helpful as you plan the future of meetings in your organisation.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 6 May 2021 with the Finance Academy (Hong Kong) and an education instituted under a Chinese multinational technology conglomerate holding company, abbreviated to TFAHK, to nurture FinTech talent.
Leveraging HKUST’s outstanding academic foundation in FinTech and the tech company’s practical industry experience, the MoU – witnessed by representatives from the HKSAR Government, HKUST and TFAHK – aims to establish a strategic partnership in fostering the development of FinTech by nurturing talents and collaborating on education and research and development projects. It sets out the plan for both parties to collaborate on the FinTech case study series for tertiary education purpose, to provide real business cases for students to comprehensively improve their knowledge on FinTech.
The parties will also work together on developing a curriculum on FinTech, with HKUST integrating the tech giant’s extensive business experience to promote the development of an innovative talent model. Other initiatives include internship opportunities for HKUST students, joint FinTech-related research and development projects, guidance on conducting research projects and potential education outreach programs to improve public awareness on FinTech.
The MoU signing ceremony was part of a Youth Forum hosted by the TFAHK, which aimed to enable audiences to better understand the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and help young talent explore the thriving career opportunities in the region.
The Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government, and the Vice President of the tech giant, Chairman of Fusion Bank, and Dean of TFAHK delivered the opening speech and welcome remarks respectively in the forum; followed by keynote speeches from the Secretary for Innovation and Technology as well as the HKUST President. A group of aspiring youth representatives also shared their first-hand experiences and learnings working in the GBA.
The HKSAR Chief Executive stated in her speech that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Development has enormous development potential. To assist young people to seize the opportunities brought about by the GBA development, the Government has introduced the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme in January this year to encourage enterprises with operations in Hong Kong and GBA Mainland cities to recruit Hong Kong graduates and post them to be stationed and work in these cities.
The Scheme will assist graduates to develop their careers in the Mainland and gain a better understanding of the lives and culture of the country.
The HKUST President stated that Hong Kong’s public and private sectors have strived to support and encourage innovation and related science and technology appropriate to the city and beyond. Fintech is a clear example in this domain as it has already been transforming our lives in every aspect from banking, retail payment to e-commerce.
“We have launched our first Fintech postgraduate program jointly by Schools of Business and Management, Engineering, and Science. We have also been actively collaborating with multiple banks and other enterprises. Today, we are delighted to join hands with Tencent to further our efforts on creating new knowledge and nurturing talent in a context in which HKUST can make substantial contributions,” he added.
The TFAHK Dean noted that through the Academy, TFAHK has been organising a range of activities that include internships, research opportunities and visits. These initiatives allow the youth in the GBA to learn about the leading internet and information technology, experience the growth momentum of the GBA and the Mainland, as well as enhance their innovative and entrepreneurial capabilities and competitiveness.
The Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme will help the youth to integrate their study, work and daily life into the GBA, and to experience how the technology enterprises focus on innovation, which helps to nurture FinTech talent.
“We are also pleased to collaborate with HKUST, a top university in Hong Kong, in enhancing the development of FinTech through a number of areas, including the FinTech case study series, FinTech curriculum development, internship opportunities, the establishment of Student Chapter, joint research projects and public awareness enhancement,” he said.
The fourth industrial revolution has strongly affected every sector of the economy and subsequently promoted digital transformation. ASEAN countries have been working hard to adopt smart production. In Vietnam, the Prime Minister issued a directive on enhancing the capacity to access and adopt Industry 4.0 technologies.
The Politburo issued a resolution that gave orientations for making national industrial development policies until 2030 with a vision to 2045. The Prime Minister approved the national programme on supporting businesses to improve productivity and goods quality for 2021-2030, which includes the promotion of smart manufacturing.
In 2020, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) proposed an initiative to build a roadmap and adopt solutions to foster smart production in Southeast Asian countries. Vu Thi Tu Quyen, an official from MST’s Directorate for Standards, Metrology, and Quality, said the results of the agency’s survey of smart manufacturing methods pointed out the importance of smart manufacturing solutions in the region amid ongoing global trends. The survey was conducted with 93 enterprises from ten ASEAN countries.
According to a news report, Industry 4.0 has shown that promoting the development of digital production by boosting the digitalisation of and connectivity between products, value chains, and business models will contribute to GDP growth.
The official cited many reports suggesting that to increase workplace productivity, fostering production by linking machinery, data, and value chains towards digital transformation and smart manufacturing is crucial.
Smart production is forecast to grow strongly in the ASEAN region from 2025, Quyen added. ASEAN countries have been taking different steps in accessing and promoting smart production, proving that Vietnam’s initiative to build a roadmap and adopt solutions to foster smart production in the region is necessary and more practical than ever.
Meanwhile, MST adopted a national science and technology programme, and “Make in Vietnam” was launched by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to step up digital transformation and the domestic ICT industry.
Nghiem Xuan Thanh, the Chairman of the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), stressed that in its development strategy for 2030 and with a vision to 2045, the bank looks to become the leading financial banking group in the country. Further, it aims to be one of the 50 largest banks in Asia and one of the top 200 financial banking groups in the world.
To that end, it will bolster digital transformation, improve operational efficiency, invest resources in innovation, science-technology development, and strengthen cooperation with foreign partners in technology transfer.
The report on the roadmap and solutions to boost smart manufacturing in ASEAN noted that many member countries have been implementing policies to support and facilitate smart production to make breakthroughs for their economies.
The ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) is the body coordinating with partners and relevant committees of ASEAN in this regard. As Chair of ACCSQ, Vietnam is responsible for working closely with other member countries to effectively carry out the roadmap and solutions to boost smart production in the region, thus contributing to regional integration and assisting enterprises to develop sustainably.
OpenGov Asia had earlier reported that the country’s digital economy will likely reach US$52 billion in value by 2025. With the gross merchandise value (GMV) of its Internet economy accounting for over 5% of the country’s GDP in 2019, Vietnam is emerging as the most digital of all economies in the region.