Aiming to unite the industry under one representative body, the Information and Communications Technology Federation (ICTF) was officially launched in Phnom Penh yesterday.
With more than 100 members comprising both local and international technology companies with a presence in Cambodia, as well as telecommunications firms and internet service providers, the ICTF will help promote the interests of its members, working with both government and the private sector. In addition, the ICTF will provide guidance on the development of industry regulations and work with foreign governments to encourage international collaboration.
“The ICT cluster is something that brings people together to share their vision and share how they want to see Cambodia grow, and prepare for the future,” said Sok Puthyvuth, chairman of the ICTF.
Puthyvuth, who in May was elected to head the Cambodia Rice Federation – the key representative body for the rice industry – has family ties to Cambodia’s highest political figures. The new ICTF chairman is the son of Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and is married to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s youngest daughter, Hun Mali.
“For the ICT sector, we are still a small community, but I can say there is a lot of potential companies and a lot of potential IT people to help us change and realise our vision,” he told reporters yesterday.
And while the federation will represent Cambodia ICT sector, Kan Chanmeta, secretary of state of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MPTC), said the new alliance will be a key colleague of the government in fostering the sector in Cambodia.
“Ministry of Post and Telecommunication cannot work alone to reach the target. The MPTC needs all stakeholders, all partners to join to develop the [industry’s] work,” he said. “You might know and might be aware the ICT industry in Cambodia is small, but we can make it more compact, we can make it well known in the region,” he said referring to bring businesses together to share information and resources.
Pily Wong, vice chairman of the newly formed ICTF, told the Post yesterday that the federation will provide input in to Cambodia’s ICT policy including the county’s draft cyberlaw which has come under scrutiny from rights groups who say it could be used to silence government critics.
“Now that all these [laws] are in drafting stage, we still have chance to say our words. Later on when the policies are all in place, all the laws are in place, it is too late,” he said.
Wong urged all companies and individuals connected to the IT industry join the ICTF, to ensure they had input in to the shaping of the laws.
“It is important that people join us now to give voice or feedback to the government or people who are drafting the law.”