Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced greater collaboration with Singapore in several fields including building smart cities for the future.

The recent ASEAN-Australia Special Summit provided a platform for PM Turnbull and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to discuss new opportunities for cooperation between the two countries.

Acknowledging the efficacy of Singapore’s approach to development, Turnbull said that Australia would continue to look to Singapore for inspiration when it came to the development of smart cities. Singapore’s approach of planning their mass transit and rail infrastructure ahead of major residential and commercial development was specifically mentioned by the Prime Minister as worthy of emulation.

Speaking to the media at the Summit, Turnbull said that this approach is being followed in Australia, especially in the Western Sydney City Deal where the stakeholders are planning the rail infrastructure ahead of the zoning.

This, he explained, would enable density to follow amenities and not the other way around.

Singaporean Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong elaborated on his country’s plans to build smart cities in Singapore in addition to a network of smart cities in ASEAN countries.

Doing so would increase the potential for cooperation in terms of standards, interoperability, and footprint of services offered across a jurisdiction.

The two countries also plan to prioritise several action areas including collaborating on science and innovation, helping small business and strengthening defence and security ties.

According to Lee, Australia and Singapore are working together to harness technology in different areas including data science, advance manufacturing, health and biosecurity to bring tangible benefits to the people of the two nations.

Commenting on their growing cooperation in science and innovation, Lee added that the Australian Government’s Singapore-based Austrade Landing Pad has so far hosted up to 15 start-ups.

Having made significant progress under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, both sides will continue to find new ways to broaden and deepen cooperation, he said.