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MFA Press Statement: Visit by Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development, Sam Tan to Tromso, Norway, for the 13th Arctic Frontiers Conference, 20 to 22 January 2019

by January 22, 2019 Athletic

Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development, Sam Tan is in TromsA�, Norway, to attend the 13th Arctic Frontiers Conference (AFC).

MOS Tan spoke at a plenary session on Smart and Resilient Arctic Societies on 21 January 2019. The session was moderated by BBC HardTalk presenter Stephen Sackur and the panellists discussed the role that technology can play in enhancing resilience in Arctic communities. The full text of MOS Tan’s speech is appended.

On the sidelines of the AFC, MOS Tan met with Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen SA�reide, US Senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski, and Scotland’s Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Mairi Gougeon. MOS Tan also met with representatives from the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat.

MOS Tan will depart TromsA� today.

1 Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be back in the Paris of the North for the Arctic Frontiers Conference.

2 The choice of this year’s theme � Smart Arctic � is timely as the emergence of new technologies presents opportunities but also potential disruptions. I would like to take the opportunity to share some examples of Singapore’s experiences in building a smart city that may be of interest to Arctic communities.

3 As a small country with limited resources, Singapore has to innovate constantly to stay ahead of the competition. Technology is a critical tool. We introduced the Smart Nation Initiative in 2014 to transform Singapore through technology into a more liveable home for all residents. For example, we are carrying out ongoing trials under the Smart Nation Sensor Platform to collect real-time data in the environment to improve transport networks and urban planning.

4 At the same time, we are also building a more eco-friendly and sustainable home. Data such as wind flow, solar irradiance and shaded areas within housing estates will be analysed by smart planning tools and data analytics. This will help determine how new estates should be designed and sited to reduce the need for air-conditioning, which will help reduce our carbon emission. Under the new Energy Grid 2.0, we are also developing next-generation grid architectures that can respond quickly and reliably to changes in energy demand and supply.

5 Smart technologies allow us to adopt both top-down and bottom-up approaches at the same time for maximum impact. For example, we have the Smart Water Meter which syncs with a mobile app to allow home owners to track their water consumption and receive alerts on leaks. Local start-ups are also leveraging government schemes which are aimed at bridging innovation and enterprise. One of our clean energy start-ups, Third Wave Power, makes portable solar chargers for off-grid rural communities.

6 While Singapore continues to broaden and deepen our digital capabilities, we also exchange best practices with our friends in the region to identify digital solutions to urban problems. It was in this spirit that Singapore spearheaded the establishment of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network during our Chairmanship of ASEAN last year. I understand that the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, which currently has 26 pilot cities, has a northern counterpart � the Nordic Smart City Network. Perhaps in the future, both networks could compare notes on smart cities development.

7 The examples that I have mentioned from Singapore’s Smart Nation Initiative perhaps may not be replicated wholesale to the Arctic context as the climate and environment in the high north are vastly different from a tropical city-state. However, I hope I have given you some food for thought. As an observer in the Arctic Council, Singapore is ready to collaborate with Arctic states to create smart, inclusive and sustainable solutions to better the lives of our citizens.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Singapore