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Digital transformation ‘new growth engine’ for Kingdom

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A smartphone on display at a shop in the capital. Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) held the Digital Transformation towards Industry 4.0 conference on Tuesday. Heng Chivoan

Digital transformation ‘new growth engine’ for Kingdom

With the rise of Industry 4.0, digital transformation will be the new growth engine that Cambodia needs to realise its long-term vision of becoming a high-income country, an economic expert said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the 13th annual outlook conference, which was organised by Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) under the theme Digital Transformation towards Industry 4.0, CDRI chairman Mey Kalyan said the discussion of digital technologies in the Kingdom has intensified.

Kalyan noted that in just three months this year, there have been three conferences on digital technologies held in the Kingdom to share ideas and discuss strategies for Cambodia’s future development and prosperity, and to generate policy recommendations for action.

“With the rise of Industry 4.0, digital transformation could be the new growth engine that Cambodia needs to realise its long-term vision of becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050, as well as deepen Cambodia’s regional and global integration,” Kalyan said.

The general objective of Cambodia Outlook Conference 2019 is to bring together leaders from the government, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders to engage and exchange views in constructive dialogue on digital transformation towards Industry 4.0 and help the Kingdom achieve long-term growth and development.

A focus on technological advancement, innovation and education quality has increased in successive phases of the Rectangular Strategy.

Key actions to date include the development of Cambodia ICT Masterplan 2020, the drafting of the Cambodia e-Government Master Plan, establishment of a Data Management Centre and the promotion of a legal framework for the digital ecosystem.

Speaking during the opening remarks at the conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said digital technology can drive growth and efficiency.

He said things such as smartphones, cloud computing, robotics, block chain and the Internet of Things have been generating vast possibilities for improving people-to-people connectivity, creating new start-ups with new ideas, facilitating trade, reducing market barriers, and creating opportunities for innovative ideas and entrepreneurial activities.

“Cambodia has experienced economic structural transformation – from a heavily agriculture-based economy to an industry- and service-based economy.

“To seize full benefits from the digital economy, Cambodia needs to put in more effort to promote strong and high economic growth for the long-term,” Hun Sen said.

The prime minister said that early this year, he instructed the Supreme National Economic Council (SNEC) to establish a working group to formulate a digital economy policy framework with the aim to seize opportunities arising from science and technology for socio-economic development.

The targets include – building infrastructure to support the digital sector, developing an e-payment system and logistics network, creating a digital platform and developing an ecosystem, and promoting government digitalisation, entrepreneurship, digital literacy and open data.