JOINT STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRS OF THE ASEAN CONNECTIVITY
COORDINATING COMMITTEE AND THE LEAD IMPLEMENTING BODY FOR
Today, half of all people in ASEAN live in urban areas and an additional 70 million people are forecast to live in ASEAN cities by 2025. Economic growth is occurring at a rapid pace not only in mega-cities such as Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok, but increasingly in middleweight cities, with populations between 500,000 and five million.
Urbanisation is a crucial driver of economic growth. No country has yet achieved middleincome status without a significant shift of its population into cities. The underlying causes include the benefits of economy of scale for larger cities, as well as the higher wages that people typically receive as they transition from an agrarian to an urban society. The immediate need for cities in ASEAN is to provide adequate and sustainable urban infrastructure to meet the increasing pace of urbanisation. In the process of meeting infrastructure demands, smart urbanization applications could potentially provide a way for cities to leapfrog in technology and facilitate optimal use of existing infrastructure.