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IT forum boosts ties with Korean firms

IT forum boosts ties with Korean firms

Mobile technology centre agreed on during visit of 13 South Korean companies to Phnom Penh

SOUTH Korean investors are keen to expand information and technology ties with Cambodia, sector officials said last week following a forum that brought Korean companies together with Cambodian businesses.

"Korea is a high-tech economy, and [Korean companies] see huge opportunities in Cambodia," said Ken Chanthan, president of the Cambodian Information and Technology Association.

Thirteen Korean IT companies visited Cambodia last Friday for the Cambodia-Korea Information Communication Technology Business Forum and announced a set of memorandums of uderstanding.

The agreements include a proposed mobile technology centre to facilitate technology transfer between Korea and Cambodia.

Luos Seyha, second vice chairman of the Small and Medium Industries Association of Cambodia, said that Cambodia stands to benefit from Korea's high-tech sector.

"Cambodia is one of the most suitable markets for [technology] investors to maximize business potential at a time when Cambodia needs to integrate its markets in an era of globalisation and e-commerce," he said.

In the short term, the deals would focus on Customer Information Systems and mobile phone technology.

Luos Seyha said that the forum would lead to more integrated business, education, government, security and database operations in Cambodia.

He added that greater competition among ICT investors will drive down costs, boost production, increase innovation and boost Cambodia's low labour productivity, Luos Seyha said.

Ken Chanthan, president of the Information Communication Technology Association of Cambodia, said the economic crisis had not affected IT relations.

"The crisis is a small problem for this sector," he said.

But he added that piracy remains a major challenge in Cambodia.

"[Piracy] is a major concern for investors.... Cambodia needs stronger IT laws," he said. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY GEORGE MCLEOD  

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