Cambodia will need to adapt in the face of the next industrial revolution taking place on factory floors, industry experts said on Monday.
Referring to the trend towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technology, a group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) led a seminar on the coming challenges and how the country can benefit from its growth.
The UN Development Programme, the UN Industrial Development Organisation and the International Labour Organisation were all accounted for at the high-level seminar in the capital.
Speaking at the event, UN Resident Coordinator in Cambodia Pauline Tamesis said that industry 4.0 presents huge opportunities for Cambodia. But, the country will need to deal with some challenges.
“I think [Industry 4.0] is starting [in Cambodia] and it is moving to the middle. It still has a long way to go and I think it needs a lot of investment in terms of human capital, training, and, most importantly, a mindset change,” she said.
Tamesis said there are two sets of issues regarding Cambodia’s journey towards industry 4.0. First, how can Cambodia access new technologies to enable the economy to leapfrog legacy plants and machinery?
Move away from labour
She also mentioned the need to diversify employment away from labour-based production, adding that the UN is committed to helping early adopters and workers to acquire new skills.
Ministry of Economy and Finance undersecretary Phan Phalla said on Monday that preparing for a digital economy and responding to the fourth industrial revolution will be a major priority of the government during the next mandate.
“We hope to lay out and formulate specific policies and programmes aimed at supporting the development of the digital economy, and seizing potential benefits from the next industrial revolution, all while managing any adverse impacts from new technologies,” he said.