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Asean hails a regional techno future

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:

Asean leaders at the World Economic Forum said yesterday they strongly believed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution would spark a new momentum in the region after 50 years of tremendous growth.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is hosting the WEF on Asean, said in his opening remarks that over the past 50  years, the regional grouping had undergone a complex transformation since its founding.
It had gone from a region with two blocs wracked by conflicts, misery, and poverty to a region of peace, stability and development, and a closely integrated community under a shared vision of the Asean community.
Asean had responded positively to the resolution of all issues, both at regional and global levels, particularly in contributing to peace, security, safety and stability for all nations in both Asia and the world, he said.
He said Asean was the third-largest economy in Asia and the seventh in the world, with total GDP of about $2.6 trillion in 2016.
Asean had become one of the world’s fastest-growing investment destinations, accounting for 11 percent of total global foreign direct investment inflows compared with just five percent in 2007.
He said it was inevitable for Asean to adopt the rapid development of technology and innovation.
Asean had to be flexible and set up the right policy and vision to adopt the new momentum of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to maintain growth and see the new opportunity of growth and risk at the same time.
“The new context of a rapid changing world, especially the strong momentum of the Fourth Industrial Revolution creates a new growth dynamism characterised by high flexibility, dependence on technology and markets,” he said.
“Yet at the same time, it could create obstacles and challenges to society including politics and security, economic and socio-cultural aspects, at both national and regional levels,” the prime minister said.
Laos Prime Minister Thoungloun Sisoulith pointed out the big achievements of the bloc but said there were many challenges regarding the new technological revolution.
These came against a backdrop of the need for sharp and clear policies to maintain growth. Both the private and public sectors have to join forces.
“In overcoming the current uncertainties and challenges, Asean will continue to strengthen regional economic integration as well as to engage with other regions of the world,” he said.

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