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: S'pore firms tap Vietnam's demand for smart city solutions

S'pore firms tap Vietnam's demand for smart city solutions

Singapore technology company Swat Mobility has rolled out a transport solution in Vietnam that allows for more efficient commutes for workers going to and from industrial parks.

Its technology generates shuttle routes with pickup and drop-off points that are closer to employees' homes. This eliminates the need for each company in the parks to organise its own bus service, which was inefficient and usually resulted in pickup and drop-off points a long way from workers' accommodation.

Swat Mobility chief revenue officer Nicholas Stipp said the company is also looking to implement on-demand bus services in Hanoi in conjunction with Japanese transport group Willer.

Swat Mobility has built on its experience in Vietnam to expand to other markets in the region such as Thailand and the Philippines.

"We are optimistic about Vietnam and will continue to explore mobility opportunities through partnerships," Mr Stipp said.

Swat Mobility is among various Singapore firms seizing opportunities in smart-city development in Vietnam, where the government is undertaking a more sustainable and efficient transformation of its urban areas.

Mr Yeoh Choon Jin, director of urban solutions and infrastructure services at Enterprise Singapore (ESG), noted how Vietnam's huge population of 98 million and rapid urbanisation are generating a strong demand for infrastructure, which in turn offers opportunities for Singapore companies.

Indeed, infrastructure and real estate are among the top areas of investment from Singapore in Vietnam, he said. "Leveraging Singapore's position as a regional infrastructure hub, Singapore companies are well placed and have the expertise to support Vietnam in its growing infrastructure needs."

For example, Keppel Corporation is working with smart-city solution providers from Singapore - such as Anacle Systems and Netatech Engineering - to provide intelligent energy and environmental monitoring at Saigon Sports City in Ho Chi Minh City.

It is also adapting Singapore's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters programme to devise a customised storm water management strategy for the project.

Last month, Sembcorp Industries inked partnerships with Vietnamese organisations to develop a range of urban and energy solutions to support the country's energy transition and sustainable development. These include developing a 1,000ha industrial park, for which Sembcorp will explore providing services such as wastewater recovery and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

ESG supported a collaboration between electronics component distributor Excelpoint Technology and 18 other companies to form the Singapore Smart City Consortium last August to help them take advantage of the opportunities in Vietnam.

Mr Yeoh said: "Through the consortium, participating companies can work together to leverage one another's diverse strengths and expertise to co-develop and jointly market comprehensive service offerings spanning areas of sustainability, smart security, smart mobility and smart community."

Mr Albert Phuay, chairman and chief executive of Excelpoint, noted how the company sees rising demand for 5G and wireless infrastructure solutions, and in urban development applications.

The consortium will allow the companies to offer a more robust portfolio with complementary technical strengths, he noted, adding: "This 'hunting as a pack' model sharpens our value proposition to potential business partners in Vietnam who are interested in integrating our technology solutions for smart city applications."

As the lead organisation, Excelpoint supports other consortium members by sharing its market experience - it set up its first representative office in Ho Chi Minh City in 2008 - sales channels and research and development facilities, and by facilitating collaborations.

"We also conduct regular progress review and constantly work to align business objectives with the consortium members to help them achieve both short-and long-term goals," Mr Phuay said.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.