Trying to stay in sync with Cambodia’s rapid information and communication technology (ICT) growth, the Kingdom’s ICT Federation has been overhauled and is now fully chaired by industry insiders.
According to Steven Path, president of the ICT Federation and CEO of Pathmazing software development company, this is the first time in Cambodia that there has been a board of directors who are from the ICT industry, free of political ties, and appointed through a democratic process.
“In the past, the ICT Federation didn’t have criteria or qualifications for someone to be part of the board of directors,” he said. “But going forward the federation is amending the bylaws so that in order to be a member of the board of directors, you must own or run an ICT business and either be a leader or influential in your field.”
Path argued that there is enough room in the market for many other companies similar to his own to emerge and be successful.
As such, he said that the federation hopes to help promote tech companies of all sizes using the staff, services, capital and additional resources that each board member brings to the table.
“Our mission is to empower these startups that are just getting into software development or just getting into selling computers and software,” he said.
The new board members represent software development companies, telecommunications firms and internet service providers. Their mission is to grow Cambodia’s digital economy, which currently has an estimated worth of $800 million, into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
By aiming to create a cohesive industry, Path hopes it will attract the attention of international giants.
“We hope that the ICT Federation will be able to attract interest from companies like Google, Apple and others,” Path said. “For example, Google has agreed to train thousands of software developers in Vietnam and Indonesia. We seek that type of partnership.”
“With industry leaders, we believe that we will have more of a united voice to talk to [these companies] and convince them that Cambodia is business friendly and that its digital economy is at the cusp of exploding,” he said. As for training more professionals: “Google can play a major role in that.”
According to Path, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPTC) has been working closely with the federation and will allow them to review and provide feedback on any laws the ministry alters or develops, including the telecom, e-commerce and cyber law.
In addition to the federation acting as the representative of the private sector, the ministry will in return help build human resources, explained Kamrang Eang, director of ICT at the MPTC.
“Our intention is that working together with the private sector [by way of] the ICT Federation, will push forward the Industry,” he said. Overall, the ministry hopes that the new federation will quickly develop the sectors efficiency.
Palm Technology, a Cambodian startup company that develops banking software, believes that the federation now has more to offer.
“I want to become a member because I want more opportunities in the IT market,” said Yen Saby, CEO of Palm Technology. “If I join the ICT Federation, maybe I will understand [tech] solutions more clearly.”