Economists have praised Siem Reap’s goal of becoming a smart city, which will harness technological and digital solutions to enhance the lives of both residents and visitors.
They anticipated a substantial increase in tourist numbers if the smart city initiative proves successful.
These comments were made during the 4th Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) Meeting, held on September 5 in Siem Reap town to discuss the smart city project.
Economist Hong Vannak, from the Institute of International Relations at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on September 6 that the government has already allocated funds to enhance infrastructure development in the province.
“If the smart city initiative in Siem Reap succeeds, I believe that the province will become even more appealing to tourists who wish to explore its culture, ancient civilisation, temples, and entertainment venues,” he added.
He hailed the smart city development, while urging all stakeholders to pay greater attention to environmental concerns, infrastructure and waste management systems, as while establishing eco-tourism and agro-tourism sites which would enhance the overall tourism experience.
Yun Linne, deputy governor of Siem Reap, shared a similar perspective during the meeting, while highlighting several challenges.
“The integration of the province into the ASEAN Smart City Network requires the capacity building of officials from the provincial administrations, as well as several departments and units, as the notion of a smart city is a new concept for Cambodia and the globe alike,” he said.
“To expedite this work successfully, we require capable human resources who are aligned with the digital technology integral to a smart city, given the concepts increasing global and local popularity,” he added.
Siem Reap is one of three of the Kingdom’s towns – along with Battambang and Sihanoukville – that were selected for the ASEAN Smart City Network, which includes 26 members.
Established in 2018, the collaborative platform aims to harmonise smart city development efforts across the region by fostering cooperation, creating viable projects in partnership with the private sector, and securing support and funding from external ASEAN partners.