BEIJING: The government officials, enterprise leaders, and scholars from Asian countries gathered at Asia Youth Forum held in Guangzhou, China, and discussed role of smart cities in changing future life and cooperation among the Asian countries in this field. The speakers shed light on the topic “Technology innovation and smart city” at the Forum. A smart city utilizes all of the technologies such as AI, block-chain, and 5G to provide more efficient and easier services to people, said Kashif Sharif, Associate Professor of Beijing Institute of Technology. He mentioned the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as an example, saying, “Guangdong cities, Hong Kong and Macao could be smart by using different technologies but they can be super smart if they link all these cities and their technologies together. If so, people can travel seamlessly while such things as virus tracking can also be done equally as seamlessly.” In terms of the data flow between countries, he said it is possible and very beneficial for all the neighboring countries. But, it has to be first standardized and legalized either by the industries themselves or by the governments before providing people with services. Liu Zhicheng, General Manager of Guangzhou Metro Group, said Guangzhou Metro aims to be “smarter’. “Firstly, it means smart manufacturing which is safer, greener and more efficient. Secondly, it means smart travel for passengers through automatic operation, smart safety checks, and quick payment. Last but not least, we keep optimizing production efficiency and cost control through cloud platform, IoT, and big data technologies.” Chng Ken Wei, Centre Director (China) at Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore, explained that Singapore has implemented a smart city plan, the iN2015 Masterplan, in 2015. “The plan has three simple goals, that is, to bring citizens a comfortable and happy life, to help enterprises achieve their full potential and to improve efficiency of governance.” He highlighted that the development of smart city would also bring new social problems. “For example, the development of robotics will reduce the demand for jobs such as taxi drivers, factory workers, and cleaners while deepening the shortage of high-end talents. It requires lots of training and retaining which we have offered lots of investment and subsidies,” he said. As for talent pool development, Muhammad Ammar, Vice Secretary-General of Beijing Global Talent Exchange Association, said there have been more foreigners wanting to study in China and work here after graduation instead of going to the US, Canada, and Germany. “For instance, many Pakistani students came to study mechanical engineering, automobile engineering, software engineering. They enter the AI and automobile industries after graduation.” He said that many cities have launched platforms to improve foreign services. He was impressed by a foreign community center in Shenzhen as it provides amazing services to foreign professionals. He hope there could be more platforms like this and more relaxed and favorable policies for foreigners to stay and work in China.