Posts Tagged ‘Smart Cities’


ITA Connects Smart City Technology Exporters to Southeast Asia

April 22, 2020

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

By: ITA’s Industry & Analysis Office of Health and Information Technologies

Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Singapore Daniel Bischof (middle), U.S. Department of Commerce staff, presenters, and participants at an ASEAN Smart Cities Third Country Training Program event in Singapore, December 2019.

Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Singapore Daniel Bischof (middle), U.S. Department of Commerce staff, presenters, and participants at an ASEAN Smart Cities Third Country Training Program event in Singapore, December 2019.

Today, nearly 300 million people living in the 10 countries comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reside in urban areas, and this number is set to increase to more than 500 million by 2050. Like cities in the United States and elsewhere, ASEAN cities are increasingly looking to use digital technologies as part of their smart city efforts to address a wide range of urbanization challenges.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is spearheading programming that connects U.S. smart city technology providers and experts with ASEAN cities to promote U.S. exports, increase U.S.-ASEAN best practices exchanges, and assist ASEAN cities in their development needs.

ITA’s work is part of the U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership announced by Vice President Mike Pence in 2018. This multi-year program is a whole-of-government effort to promote collaboration between the two regions. To date, ITA has organized a variety of events to advocate for trade-enabling policies to connect U.S. technology providers to ASEAN cities.

Best Practices in Smart Cities

In December 2019, the United States and Singapore co-hosted a five-day workshop on Smart Cities in Singapore featuring a range of sessions on smart city planning. Debra Lam, Managing Director for Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation at the Georgia Institute of Technology, reinforced the idea among the 24 participants that “all cities can be smart because it is a continuous improvement process.” As the former Chief Innovation & Performance Officer for the city of Pittsburgh, she was able to draw on her real-world experience. She encouraged cities to harness the power of emerging technologies rather than prematurely banning them, as blocking new technology can limit opportunities for future growth.

With each participant focused on one priority project that they hoped to develop in their city, ITA and experts from the region led interactive sessions for participants on:

  • planning and tailoring their smart city build-outs;
  • developing strategies to finance and sustainably fund their priority smart city projects;
  • adopting standards and project procurement best practices; and
  • mitigating cybersecurity risk.

Throughout the week, ITA connected ASEAN participants with U.S. industry partners such as Cisco Autodesk, and New York based Xylem to learn about innovative technology solutions to real world problems.

Industry Engagement

This past January, ITA led a delegation of Indonesian municipal officials to DistribuTECH, a leading energy and utilities trade show in San Antonio, Texas. U.S. companies participating and exhibiting at DistribuTECH had an opportunity to meet with key decision makers in Indonesia’s power sector, opening market prospects for technology and solutions critically needed in that nation. During the show, officials from Sumatra and Java discussed best practices with U.S. public and private sector representatives to facilitate development of Indonesia’s smart cities and smart grid infrastructure.

In recent months, ITA has continued extensive industry outreach to raise awareness of Southeast Asian smart city business opportunities and to plan for future programming.

Looking Towards the Future

During the next few years, ITA will continue to organize sector specific smart cities programs at trade shows focused on water, safety and security, transportation, cybersecurity, and waste management, among others. In addition, ITA will lead expert advisor delegations to ASEAN cities to engage with municipal governments on specific challenges they are facing and advocate for U.S. smart cities solutions that address those challenges.

If you are interested in connecting with us on future U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities programs, please email


ITA & Global Futures Group Partner to Focus on Smart Cities

May 25, 2017

Earlier this month, ITA Strategic Partner Global Futures Group (GFG) hosted the 2017 Smart Cities: Powered by People Conference (SCNYC17) in Brooklyn.

This was the first show of its kind to focus on the importance of citizen participation in making cities “smart.” The four-day event brought together global mayors, CTOs, CIOs, civil society organizations, non-profits, the private sector, and thought leaders from around the world for discussions and debates on the key issues confronting modern urban leaders in their efforts to improve the quality of life in their cities.

ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service Office in NYC led a workshop on ITA resources, including market intelligence, programming and counseling, available to support export activities related to Smart City technologies and services.  Additionally, the workshop offered an overview of the multitude of different business models available to companies and cities developing Smart City projects.


Global Futures Group kicks off the event with a presentation on “leading cities into the future”.

SCNYC17 covered a broad range of critical topics, including the benefits of cloud technologies in education, public safety, health, transportation, and other modern government services; technology for the disabled; cybersecurity; the use of big data in managing urban assets; fostering innovation through urban labs; harnessing a new creative class through entrepreneurship ecosystems; the future of automation and the impact on employment; urban planning and design to address new methods of commuting and a transient economy; training tech talent for the future.

The development of smarter cities in the United States and around the world opens up global business opportunities for U.S. firms.  To learn more about export opportunities in the smart cities area, check out the International Trade Administration’s Smart Cities, Regions, and Communities: Export Opportunities Guide, or connect with our Design & Construction Team


India’s Smart Cities Presents U.S. with a Unique Opportunity

February 22, 2016

 This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.  Arun M Kumar is the Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.


United States-India Flags

United States-India Flags

During his January 2015 visit to New Delhi, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi announced the decision to elevate the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue to a Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD). The expanded dialogue was created to reflect our two countries’ shared commitment to strengthen the bilateral commercial and economic partnership.

Given the importance of our relationship with India, it was imperative to better position the United States as one of India’s principal commercial partners by aligning U.S. commercial capabilities with the Government of India’s key priorities. A dedicated track within the S&CD focuses on infrastructure and smart cities. Through this work stream, the Commerce Department is taking a leadership role in partnering with India to develop smart cities and urban infrastructure, including the use of renewable energy and upgraded transportation.

In terms of purchasing power, India is the third largest economy in the world. With approximately 1.28 billion people, which is more than a sixth of the world’s population, India has the second most populous country in the world, and is estimated to add another 500 million people to its urban population over the next 40 years.

India’s government has almost overwhelmingly focused on economic development and, as a result, has proposed a nationwide program to build 100 smart cities. A smart city is a city equipped with basic infrastructure to provide a decent quality of life, and a clean and sustainable environment through the application of some smart solutions. Monitoring water quality, treatment of wastewater, smart meters, renewable sources of energy, efficient green building and intelligent traffic management systems are some of the solutions of a smart city. For India, this means a wide variety of major infrastructure projects across the country will be funded by the central and state governments, as well as private sector capital, over the next few years. India’s infrastructure needs are estimated to be in the $1.5 to $2 trillion range.

To spur smart city activity across India, the Government of India has partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies to select 100 smart cities that will receive central government funding to be matched by the private sector. In recognition of cutting-edge U.S. technologies, products and services, the Government of India invited U.S. industry, in concert with the U.S. government, to take the lead in developing three Smart Cities in India: Ajmer in the state of Rajasthan; Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh; and Vishakhapatnam (Vizag) in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The Bloomberg Smart City Challenge Competition released the 20 cities that will receive the first funding. Of the three U.S. industry-led smart cities, Vizag is included in the first group of 20.

With the support of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), U.S. companies will be involved in planning and providing technical assistance for each of these cities. Vizag is moving forward with a Master Planning grant issued by USTDA to be implemented by a three company consortium led by AECOM. However, U.S. participation is not limited to these three cities. Commercial Service (CS) India, in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce and other local commercial chambers, have been staging events across India in cities with additional public and private smart city projects.

All this presents a tremendous opportunity for U.S. companies to assist India’s government to make its 100 smart city and green development goals a reality. In fact, earlier this month, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews led a delegation of 18 U.S. companies on a Smart Cities Infrastructure Business Development Mission to India. Representatives from the Infrastructure industry joined the mission that was designed to connect them with opportunities in green infrastructure development, while introducing Indian policymakers, businesses and urban planners to the world-class services offered by the mission participants.

During keynote remarks at the third Smart Cities Summit in Mumbai, Deputy Secretary Andrews said that though the presence of the mission delegates underscores America’s commitment to the U.S.-India relationship, the full potential of that relationship will not be realized without solving the lingering challenge of India’s business climate.

“We want to be partners – because India’s success is critical to the future of both the global economy and the world’s fight to address climate change,” said Deputy Secretary Andrews. “Working together, we can help India not only build the foundation for a sustainable, green future – but, in the process, show the world how to create truly 21st century cities.”