One of the greatest challenges faced by Southeast Asia (SEA) is to provide effective, efficient, sustainable and economically viable infrastructure. Around the globe, technology has had a huge role to play in making infrastructure creation efficient and cost effective. Several countries in the SEA region have embraced new technologies across several sectors, particularly the transportation and highway sectors. The leaders in modernising transport systems in the region include Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, while the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Brunei have yet to make much headway in this area. Our focus story, “Technology Push”, presents an overview of how countries have embraced the technology revolution and realised the significance of smart infrastructure.

Most, if not all, countries in the SEA region have reported a decline in the oil and gas production. This poses a new set of challenges for the region to ensure energy security by providing uninterrupted supply and at the same time manage production, which has been continuously declining. Our story “Need of the Hour” looks at ways to bridge the demand-supply gap, curb the current account deficit, initiate the discovery of new fields and enhance production from the existing fields.

In light of the production crisis in the oil and gas sector and as part of the global trend to move away from oil and gas use to reduce emissions, liquefied natural gas (LNG) has become an increasingly popular alternative fuel option for many shipowners. The story “Significant Milestone” gives a glimpse of how Singapore has initiated the development of its first LNG bunkering barge vessel.

Water scarcity has emerged as an area of concern for the region. The majority of the ASEAN member countries face acute water shortages, which necessitate adequate and timely measures. In recent times, several city governments have taken concrete measures to deal with the issue. Our story “Forthcoming Developments” showcases a few upcoming projects in the region’s water sector.

Mobile commerce is expected to experience robust growth on the back of a healthy e-commerce market. Southeast Asians are spending an average of 140 minutes per month on e-commerce platforms, significantly higher than their American counterparts who spend close to 80 minutes per month on the leading online marketplace. The story “Looking Bright” gives an insight on key affordable launches and the increase in smartphone penetration on account of the e-commerce boom.