Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia talks IT

Cambodia talks IT

Cambodia talks IT

CAMBODIA held its first information technology seminar on August 24. Called "IT

2000-Technology Day Cambodia", the event, sponsored by Thakral Cambodia Ltd,

brought together dozens of business executives and Government officials to focus

on the challenges Cambodia faces as it grapples with a global explosion of computer-related

services and technology.

The Minister of Commerce, Cham Prasidh, speaking at the seminar, noted that the Government

would need the support of the business community to help bring Cambodia into the

information age.

"We, the Government, are going to design policies but we need the private sector,"

Prasidh said. He said the Government viewed information technology as a means of

reducing the gap between the rich and the poor and called for "a crash program"

to raise the skills of the population.

Educational institutions were cited as a priority where an infusion of computer technology

could be of immediate benefit.

An advisor to the Council of Ministers, Pan Sorasak, told the Post that the Ministry

of Education has already set up a new program called "School Net" whereby

three high schools - Lycees Sisowath, Beng Trabek, and Bak Touk - in Phnom Penh will

be provided with computer labs equipped with Internet simulators.

Many of the computer industry's heavy hitters were represented at the seminar, including

Compaq, IBM, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard.

Radne Bryant, General Director of IBM Indochina, noted that Internet use was skyrocketing

worldwide. Around 250 million people now use the net, he said, with this figure expected

to double to 500 million by 2003.

E-commerce is one area that is witnessing triple-digit growth. According to Radne,

in the Asia Pacific region e-commerce revenues are growing 100% a year, with a 1999

figure of $5 billion projected to top $40 billion by 2003.

In Cambodia, the most visible sign of the spread of computer technology is in the

simple use of e-mail services. According to Bill Herod, Information Officer at the

NGO Forum, "about 8,000" people now use e-mail in Cambodia, while just

five years ago the figure was "only a handful".

In a related event, the Faculty of Pedagogy awarded certificates in computer science

to seven students on August 31. This was the first time the faculty has awarded certificates

in this field.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,