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Policy aims to boost science and technology

Policy aims to boost science and technology

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iPad showed in iOne shop. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

A national policy on science, technology and innovation is being drafted to boost Cambodia’s development in the competitive field, as the Kingdom endeavours to catch up with its regional neighbours and internationally.

Officials met for the first-ever consultation workshop yesterday to draft a national policy document for the sector.

A major goal will be to change the situation of Cambodia lacking sufficient human resources employed in science and technology.

The seven-page paper aims to promote technology and innovation research and increase the human resources invested in the field to further socio-economic development.

The presentation by Chin Chharom, an adviser to the Development of National Policy on Science, Techology and Innovation, showed that, for every one million people, Cambodia had only 56 people involved in science and technology, whereas Vietnam had 508 and Myanmar100.

 “So far, we  haven’t recognised the need for a national policy paper on science and technoloy, and today is the first day that Cambodia is addressing this,” Chharom said.

“If you look at the 10 ASEAN countries, only Cambodia doesn’t have a national institution for directing, leading and co-ordinating science.”

He said that as the common practice was for science and technology to be regulated by different ministries, Cambodia lacked a central institution.

Sim Nara, deputy general director of the Industry General Department at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, said the draft document was scheduled to be completed in March, and would then be submitted to the government for approval.

“After the government has signed, it will become the national strategic plan. The policy points out important ways to improve science, technology and innovation implementation,” he said.

Chea Seanghong, secretary of state for the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, said science, technology and innovation were essential for society.

A nation with a lack of knowledge in science and technology could not compete in the world market, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]

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