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Smart cities would be a smart plan for Taiwan

Staff writer |
Tung Tse-hien, chairman of the Taipei Computer Association, has urged the Taiwanese government to help local firms tap the huge market potential for smart cities.

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During the opening ceremony of Smart City Expo 2014, Mr. Tung pointed out that smart cities involve extensive policy planning, planning in which Taiwan's government cannot lag behind.

Some 100 firms occupied over 500 booths in the inaugural exhibition, including IBM, Advantech, Tatung and Chunghwa Telecom. Since the rollout of the Smart Planet concept by IBM in 2009, the smart city concept has been laying the cement around the world. China alone has announced plans to build 800 smart cities by 2015, a statement with a market potential of $15 billion. President Barack Obama has listed the development of smart cities as a key strategy.

Mr. Tung remarked that the development of smart cities could bring Taiwan business opportunities in system integration and turnkey solutions, which promise high margins for Taiwanese firms. He urged the government to be more aggressive in promoting smart cities, which involve the formulation of policy and regulations.

Mr. Tung cited Hangzhou, the capital of eastern China's Zhejiang province, whose municipal government has successfully set up the city's IPTV network in one fell swoop. In contrast, Taiwanese firms are still subject to various legal constraints in tapping business opportunities associated with smart cities.

In view of the huge market potential, the association is organizing a Taiwan smart city industrial alliance, for which more than 30 firms have pledged to attend, including Chunghwa Telecom, IBM, Advantech and the Institute for Information Industry.

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