Singapore host global cities summit to address escalating urbanization challenges

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Michael Koh, World Cities Summit Spokesperson

The World Cities Summit (WCS), Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS) slated from 8 to 12 July at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands takes the centre stage in the country’s smart national business agenda.

Expected to host over 20,000 attendees and a record number of Governors and Mayors from around the world, the tripartite thought-provoking – WCS, SIWW and CESS emerging as one of the the world’s leading platform to drive integrated urban solutions is lined to connect global business experts, policy-makers, industry leaders and innovators through strategic collaborative efforts and cutting-edge technologies.

An array of showcases of new innovations and technologies such as autonomous robotics, biomimicry, 3D eco-printing and energy harvesting, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) at the City Solutions Singapore Expo – the global marketplace for innovative urban solutions are geared to attract delegates and trade visitors’ attention.

“Although the challenge of urbanisation is not new – the urgency is greater now than ever before because urbanisation is rising at an unprecedented rate, especially in ASEAN. This dramatically changes the landscape of cities, water consumption patterns and environmental challenges. Bringing World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore together creates a meaningful platform to drive decisive action – from policy-making to planning to creating go-to-market innovations,” said Michael Koh, joint spokesperson for the three events. “The focus this year is to accelerate action so that we can concentrate not just on solving urbanisation challenges but anticipating problems.”

Following the huge leaps that Mastercard has globally made in the evolving digital payments space, Ms Beatrice Cornacchia the company’s Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications in Middle East Africa Region said several countries have more to learn from Singapore following the county’s deliberate launch and effort to embark on Smart National Initiative.

“The only competition that Mastercard has in the changing world is cash. On average, the cost of cash in each country is 1.5 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP),”

Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, MEA

Mastercard, stressed Cornacchia is a technology company committed to work with local entities in private and public sectors to revolutionise the way payments are made through deployment of safe, simple and smart innovations accessible to everyone, everywhere everyday.

It is evident that devices equipped with sensors are increasingly changing the digital payments space as it is woven into all kinds of new experiences, among them being the global award winning MPESA, mooted in Kenya over nearly two-decades ago.

Cornacchia said Mastercard that having recently opened a lab in Nairobi, Kenya, the company purposes to doing well by doing good as it continues to create  opportunities for fintech talents, empowering small businesses, supporting vulnerable communities and collaborating with governments wherever they are invited to add value.

Cash stands out as Mastercard’s competition. “The only competition that Mastercard has in the changing world is cash. On average, the cost of cash in each country is 1.5 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP),” said Cornacchia during a media briefing adding that Mastercard analyzes hard and soft trends to anticipate with what new devices or modes the company’s payments platform should work and then it game-plans for them.

As this year’s global is also significant because Singapore holds the chairmanship of ASEAN. In line with the Chairmanship, Singapore will host for the first time a number of key ASEAN meetings. The 6th Meeting of Governors/Mayors of ASEAN Capital Cities (MGMAC), ASEAN Mayors Forum, ASEAN Smart Cities Network Inaugural Meeting and the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action.

Transforming concepts into actionable insights

WCS, SIWW and CESS are global platforms focused on driving synergises across urban planning, water resources and environment sustainability with the aim to encourage public and private partnerships to actualise actionable insights, reach commercial opportunities and potentially identify resolutions for real-world sustainability issues.

“As the impact of climate change and rapid urbanisation continues to place further stress on the global water supply, it is imperative for key stakeholders to connect and co-create actionable steps that bring us closer to solving the global water crisis,” said Mr Bernard Tan, Managing Director of Singapore International Water Week.“Singapore International Water Week has established itself as a global platform driving thought leadership and innovation for the entire water value chain. As we celebrate a decade of innovation and excellence, SIWW is committed to continue driving business opportunities and accelerating the commercialisation of new water technologies to ensure water sustainability for future generations.”

This year, a range of tech-focused programmes such as the Water Convention and TechXchange & Innovation Pavilion, is lined to showcase the latest innovations and solutions in emerging technologies applied within water systems, as well as some of the novel technologies at SMART PUB that will be adopted in Singapore. The Singapore Business Forum will also feature Singapore companies, their range of engineering expertise and technologies, and their involvement in infrastructural projects around the world.

In addition, 2018’s Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate and Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize Laureate, will also present award-winning case studies to facilitate the sharing of best practices in urban and water solutions that can be replicated across nations

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