Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Somdy Duangdy last week advised the post and telecommunications sector to use information and communications technology (ICT) to spur development and to transform online services through digitalisation.
Somdy made the call on the closing day of a meeting to summarise the work of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications over the past year.
The meeting also revealed the ministry’s plans for this year, which will focus on transforming services through digitalisation.
Somdy praised post and telecoms officials for their many successes, especially in hosting the Asean Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting.
He also stressed the importance of the internet and digital technology for livelihoods and the country’s overall development.
State organisations should make use of digital technology to improve the efficiency of their operations and work with the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications to ensure that links in the supply of information and databases are of the same quality.
He especially recommended offices to make more use of online services, saying they should improve their operations and be more innovative in the way they run their businesses and services.
Somdy advised the ministry to develop new innovations and to use ICT to enable digital payments and tax payments through mobile phones – Mobile Money.
He called on the ministry to help small and medium-sized enterprises and start-up businesses obtain funding and use ecommerce to generate more revenue.
Also speaking at the meeting, Minister of Post and Telecommunications Thansamay Kommasith outlined the ministry’s recent successes.
These included a scheme to modernise payments and revenue collection, and allowing telecom operators to trial a 5G network.
Other innovations included a cyberattack monitoring system, installation of a Request Tracker for Incident Response (RTIR) system, tsunami sensor system, web server and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certification.
This year, there are plans to use Certification Authority for e-office systems, create i-offices, set up an e-tax system for the Ministry of Finance, and to introduce Root Certification Authority, Government Certification Authority and Public Certification Authority.
The ministry also plans to build two remote monitoring stations at Wattay International Airport and in Vientiane prefecture’s Chanthabouly district.
A total of 475 ministry officials attended training courses in Laos and other countries last year and the ministry is creating an e-testing and e-score process. The ministry competed in an ICT Awards contest in which Laos won two prizes.
The ministry is also encouraging development in the postal sector through the use of modern technology for e-post, e-logistics, e-finance and e-commerce.
There are also plans to run a campaign to ensure public understanding of appropriate social media use, and improve and draw up policies and legislation.
A master plan will be formulated on digital payments and revenue collection through mobile phones, in order to boost income contributions to socio-economic development.
The ministry will also install digital network equipment in 18 ministries and the Prime Minister’s Office to link them.
E-offices will be set up at the Prime Minister’s Office, National Assembly, and ministries of Home Affairs; Planning and Investment; Education and Sports; and Information, Culture and Tourism.
The ministry will continue to allow telecom operators to trial a 5G network and to make quality e-posts to prepare for e-commerce in the future.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK