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Ministry, Microsoft ink MoU on digital innovation, development

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Telecoms minister Chea Vandeth (left) and Microsoft’s Cairine Haslam (on screen) on Tuesday. Photo supplied

Ministry, Microsoft ink MoU on digital innovation, development

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications will join forces with US tech giant Microsoft Corp to develop innovation and entrepreneurship in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and spur greater digital transformation progress in the Kingdom.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to this end on March 16 via video link by minister Chea Vandeth and Cairine Haslam, chief financial officer for Microsoft Singapore and South East Asia New Markets, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the two parties will also work together in the ICT fields of research and development, human resource management, digital technology adoption, government development planning and digital policy.

Minister Chea Vandeth said his ministry believes that the integration of ICT knowledge into general secondary and higher education curriculums is an essential component in promoting the adoption of digital technology in the Kingdom.

He said the ministry will work with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to design a digital master plan that would build digital literacy skills into such curriculums.

“The ministry encourages students to consider choosing to study subjects involving digital technology, or even if they are studying other skills, to have basic knowledge of digital and ICT practices and be ready to participate in the digital socio-economic transformation and the arrival of the fourth-generation industrial revolution,” Vandeth said.

Super App Technology Plc founder Path Chamnan told The Post that the MoU will bring about positive changes in the Kingdom’s technology sector and reflects its government-backed transition towards Industry 4.0.

“The government is striving to promote the sector, especially the posts ministry. Microsoft’s support will provide a shot in the arm for development of our country’s human resources,” he said.

The government is also racing to draft a 2021-2035 policy framework for Cambodia’s evolving digital socioeconomic environment that optimally facilitates economic growth, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said in a recent press release.

The framework focuses on five major priorities – developing digital infrastructure, fostering digital trust and confidence, creating digital citizens, building the digital government and promoting digital businesses, it said.

The release said the framework is designed to respond to the global trends of Industry 4.0 and the digital transformation that is taking place across regional economies and beyond, now more so than ever with Covid-19 underscoring their growing potential to propel development and economic growth.

It added that the framework sets forth a vision for building a vibrant digital economy and society by laying the foundations for digital adoption and transformation across society, businesses, people and the state to generate fresh economic growth momentum and promote social welfare under the “new normal” perspective.

On the Nasdaq stock exchange, Microsoft’s share price dipped $0.67 or 0.28 per cent to close March 18 at $237.04 for a market capitalisation of $1.79 trillion, with 29.56 million shares traded.

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