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PM impressed by video conferencing, calls for more e-govt

Hun Sen recently had a video conference with 23 provincial governors, the success of which prompted him to call for greater e-govt.

PRIME Minister Hun Sen announced plans on Tuesday to install video-conferencing facilities at key military headquarters throughout the Kingdom, arguing that the move would reduce government spending on transportation and improve national security.

"We are ... moving towards e-government, and we will continue to install video-conference systems at all regional military headquarters for commanding soldiers," he said during a speech in Oddar Meanchey province.

"With video conferencing, we can reduce costs and work faster," he added, noting that military and civilian officials would need to attend fewer meetings in person.

In terms of national security, the technology will facilitate communication with military officials stationed far from Phnom Penh. The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defence will also use the technology, Hun Sen said.

After Hun Sen returned from a trip to Kuwait last week, he participated in a video conference with 23 provincial governors, an experience that convinced him of the benefits of investing further in the technology. "When I spoke, they could watch me speak on the screen," he said.

Hun Sen said the government has already installed video-conferencing systems in all provincial cities, meaning he can speak to all provincial governors from his home. He called on provincial governors to invest in the technology so they can do the same with district governors.

In addition to installing the facilities at military headquarters, Hun Sen said the government also plans to establish video-conferencing links with Asean members and other world leaders. Minister of Posts and Telecommunication So Khun said the technology could also be used for education, as students could use it to participate in classes taking place abroad.

Hun Sen said Viettel, Vietnam's military-owned mobile company, has installed 5,000 kilometres of fiber-optic cable nationwide, some of which will be for video conferencing. He said Viettel will install 5,000 to 8,000 additional kilometres in the future.

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