Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that the theme of this year’s World Intellectual Property Day – ‘IP and Youth innovating for a better future’ – is consistent with the government’s youth development agenda.

In a letter released on April 26 to observe World Intellectual Property Day, Hun Sen said Cambodia regards its youth as “strategic resources” for economic, social, cultural, environmental and defense sectors, both now and in the future.

“We all accept that the youth [population] is a potential resource for innovation and technical knowledge that can support the livelihood of the general public … this will be even more so as technology advances towards a better future,” he said.

He noted that this year’s theme is particularly complementary to the aims set out in the treaty to establish the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

WIPO and its members celebrate this day annually to promote public knowledge on the importance of property rights in all sectors, building trademarks and maintaining the value of creativity and innovation, all of which protect livelihoods and intellectual property.

Cambodia became a member of WIPO on July 25, 1995. Currently, the organisation consists of 193 member states who pledge to fulfill their duty to protect intellectual property rights.

Hun Sen said the theme reflects the role and importance of youth around the world in nation and world building. Youth are the “owners of the future” and must contribute to building it and solving current issues, he said.

The premier said Cambodia has put the national youth development policy into practice since 2011, when it began mobilising resources for youth development and to prepare them to take on the responsibility of national, social and economic development.

According to the 2019 national census, 29.4 per cent of Cambodia’s population is under the age of 14, while those aged 15-59 make up 61.7 per cent.

Hun Sen said Cambodia must take advantage of its large youth population and train them to achieve its key 2030 and 2050 visions.

The prime minister said that youth resource development has been made a priority in the government’s national strategy, and has pledged to promote professionalism, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation amongst young Cambodians through the sharing of information and experience in all sectors.

“Cambodian youth is a huge resource, and they possess creative ideas, talent and foresight. They are ambitious enough to accept new knowledge, brave and confident enough to believe in themselves and achieve success. However, we see that their resources have not been used to the fullest extent for the sake of the nation,” he said.