Jica seeks to turn PP, towns into smart cities

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Tourists visited Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province. Jica representatives have sought support from Siem Reap’s Apsara National Authority (ANA) to transform the ancient capital into a smart city.

Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) representatives have sought support from Siem Reap’s Apsara National Authority (ANA) to transform the ancient capital into a smart city.

The call was made in February last year after the government approved three cities to join the Asean Smart Cities Network (ASCN) with assistance from the Japanese government.

The three cities named were Phnom Penh, Battambang and Siem Reap.

Jica Cambodia Office senior representative Kotaro Tanaka noted that the Japanese government had obtained approval early last year from the government for the ASCN initiative.

Tanaka said: “The project will be developed sustainably – by integrating information and communication technology (ICT) aims to mainly focus on using modernised technology as a means of telecommunication to deal with some issues such as housing, traffic jams and the environment.

“These smart cities were already selected . . . including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang province,” he was quoted as saying in a statement from the Apsara National Authority.”

Tanaka said he sought cooperation from the ANA and other Japanese institutions to ensure the preservation of the Angkor Complex.

ANA director-general Hang Pov said: “The Apsara National Authority wants and encourages both sides to speed up the establishment of Smart Cities and ensure it is realised in the near future.”

He noted that neither party had revealed the exact location or date that construction would begin.

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction agreed to join the Asean-Japan Smart City Network on March 1 to incorporate the Kingdom’s three largest urban areas into the Asean-Japan Smart City Network with 26 other cities across the Asean region.

The term ‘Smart City’ refers to urban development with smart and sustainable technology to tackle concerns stemming from rapid urbanisation – such as traffic jams, water and air quality, peace and security.

Its minister Chea Sophara who was present at the Cambodia-Japan Urbanisation Development forum in late February voiced support for the initiative.

Sophara said: “The ministry looks forward to coordinating [efforts] and providing all services within its capacity. It also encourages Japanese business people and firms to invest or partner with Cambodian companies.”