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Summit Explores Tech’s Role in Region’s Inclusive Growth

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The Cambodia ASEAN Business Summit 2024, held on Tuesday, turned the spotlight on the critical role technology plays in fostering inclusive growth throughout the region.

During a keynote at the summit, Hem Vanndy, the Minister of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation, delivered a compelling argument for the role of technology as a cornerstone for sustainable regional development. He underscored the significance of strategic investments in connectivity and digital infrastructure as essential in unlocking growth opportunities across ASEAN economies.

The minister emphasized, “By driving forward research, fostering entrepreneurship, and facilitating technology transfers, we can cultivate an ecosystem that not only transforms ideas into tangible growth but also introduces innovative solutions to societal challenges. From healthcare and education to agriculture and manufacturing, technology offers unprecedented opportunities to uplift millions across ASEAN.”

A key focus of the Royal Government of Cambodia, as outlined in its Pentagonal Strategy’s initial phase, is on economic diversification and the development of a digital society. Parallel to this, Cambodia’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Roadmap 2030 aims to elevate the country to middle-income status by 2030, aspiring for high-income status by 2050.

Addressing the Cambodia-ASEAN Business Summit in Phnom Penh, Minister Hem elucidated the government’s dedication to creating a supportive environment for technological advancement and investment in the private sector.

He identified three crucial pillars for achieving inclusive growth: nurturing human talent, elevating small and medium enterprises, and harnessing digital technology, urging collective action to advance STEM education, boost small and medium enterprises’ competitiveness, and explore digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and the Internet of Things.

Looking ahead, Cambodia is gearing up to host the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology, and Innovation in June 2024. Themed ‘Artificial Intelligence: The Road to the Future,’ the meeting promises to be a pivotal platform for member states to discuss AI and its implications for regional and national development.

The Minister championed the unified efforts towards leveraging technology for ASEAN’s inclusive advancement, calling for innovative and collaborative approaches to forge a harmonious future for all citizens in the region.

Tan Khee Meng, the President of the MBCC and moderator of a panel discussion titled ‘Leveraging Technology Innovation and Digitalisation for Inclusive Growth,’ lauded the summit’s insightful outcomes. He highlighted the collective acknowledgment of extending digital infrastructure to remote areas as critical to bridging the digital divide.

Meng noted, “Panelists understood the necessity to ensure inclusive progress in our rapidly digitizing world. They advocated for purposeful actions by governments, businesses, and NGOs alike to empower all individuals, regardless of location or background.”

The discussion also underlined the importance of protecting online citizens’ data and privacy. With greater aspects of daily life transitioning to digital platforms, robust cybersecurity and data protection regulations were deemed pivotal. The call for collaboration among industry leaders, policymakers, and tech experts to craft solutions addressing these concerns was unanimous.

The summit’s dialogues underscore fruitful pathways ahead, emphasizing the power of technology in shaping an equitable future for every ASEAN country and its citizens.

Source: Khmer Times

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