The Ministry of Interior’s committee tasked with coordinating Smart City projects on June 22 met with relevant institutions to discuss establishing a vision and national policy for the programme. Cambodia has three cities to test with ASEAN member states.

The virtual meeting came after the committee establishment in February and a long delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a Facebook post, the ministry said the meeting was attended by the ministry’s General Department of Administration director-general, secretaries of state and leaders of relevant ministries and institutions as well as specialists.

Interior ministry secretary of state and chairman of the committee Ngy Chanphal told The Post on June 23 that the meeting touched on preparedness to contribute concepts to government policy in the medium to long term.

He said that until now Cambodia had not had a firm Smart City policy. So, the committee prepared input for each sector. The committee also had to be ready to contribute rules or policies to the government to prepare various programmes.

“We will prepare concepts and a concrete policy by using technologies to promote our city. Back in 2018, the 10 leaders of ASEAN member states laid out a pilot policy to raise urban peoples’ livelihoods for urban people to live safely and provide fast services,” he said.

Despite the initial delay, Chanphal said the committee had several virtual meetings with members of the bloc to continue work as Cambodia had three Smart Cities to test – Battambang, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh – with nearly 30 cities within ASEAN.

The ministry said the committee was established to support Smart City policy implementation by studying and researching experiences of countries in the region and the globe.

“The [committee] working group is tasked with cooperating with relevant ministries and institutions in support of creating Smart City for the sub-national administration.

“The group trains people about policies regarding Smart City work with relevant partners such as the private sector, NGOs and other institutions to mobilise support on Smart City preparation,” the ministry said.

Chanphal said that when the committee prepares reports and concepts, results and progress of work will be submitted to the head of government for review and approval.