Despite the Kingdom’s current status as a labour-intensive economy, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had a high potential to excel in the fourth industrial revolution within the Asean region.
Speaking on Wednesday at the 27th World Economic Forum (WEF) on Asean in Vietnamese capital Hanoi, the prime minister said Cambodia has been promoting the development of entrepreneurship within small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“Cambodia is a country with a high potential to seize the opportunities arising from the fourth industrial revolution."
“Getting ready for the digital economy and responding to the fourth industrial revolution has become a goal of the royal government in this mandate. We will focus on strengthening and expanding the foundation of the digital economy with human resources and new skills,” he said.
Just last week, a seminar was held in the Kingdom on the topic of industry 4.0, as industry experts at the event said the Kingdom would need to adapt quickly to technological advancements taking place on the factory floor.
Ngeth Chou, a senior consultant at Emerging Markets Consulting, agreed that the Kingdom has the potential to take part in the next major wave of industrial innovation.
However, he said the government must be ready to manage the consequences that would impact the labour market, and foster the growth of skills.
“It is a matter of using technology instead of labour in order to reduce the cost of production. We have to look at what our human resources capacity is. In order to attract investors, the government has to formulate policies that balance the capacity for new skills and mitigate joblessness.”
He noted that while there are windows of opportunities, the Kingdom has a long way to go.
A study by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in June last year found that some 40 per cent of the population works in the agriculture sector.