As part of plans to adapt to technological trends, the government announced last week the construction of a centre inside one of the nation’s leading universities that will focus on the skills young tech entrepreneurs need to succeed in the digital economy.
Dubbed the ‘Techo Startup Centre’, the facility will teach the skills demanded in tomorrow’s jobs, particularly entrepreneurship in the tech industry, and will boost the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector, said Aun Pornmonirath, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance.
It will be located at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, Mr Pornmonirath added.
“The centre will provide training and guidance to young tech entrepreneurs and prepare students for the jobs of the future,” Mr Pornmonirath said.
“It will help SMEs in the country take advantage of new opportunities in emerging economic sectors and support young people interested in technology,” he said.
Mr Pornmonirath said the centre will provide students a space in which to gather and work on their own tech projects. He said the centre was conceived to help the country adapt to the fourth industrial revolution.
Mey Kalyan, chairman of the board of trustees at RUPP, confirmed that the Techo Startup Centre will be located at RUPP, but was unable to provide more details about the facility.
“I don’t have much information about it yet. We will know more in November, when one of the board members involved in the project will give us further details,” Mr Kalyan added.
He said RUPP has recently established a team in cooperation with the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI), the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the United Nations Development Programme to study the impact on the Kingdom’s economy of the fourth industrial revolution and how to adapt to it.
Kan Channmeta, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, praised Prime Minister Hun Sen for the initiative and for his commitment to furthering the Kingdom’s tech industry.
He said that the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications is building its own tech centre. Known as the ICT Innovation Centre (IIC), it will be located at the National Institute of Posts, Telecoms & ICT (NIPTICT), and it will cost $4 million to build.
The Ministry of Industry and Handicraft has also reserved three floors in its building to create another SME and tech startup centre, he added.
“Several new centres are coming up to help feed demand for qualified professionals in the technology sector. These centres will provide young people with mentors to help them bring their creative ideas to life.
“All this has been possible thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s drive to push forward the startup and SME sectors and help the country adapt to the digital economy,” Mr Channmeta said.
He said the government is now focusing on improving the taxation and business registration mechanisms to facilitate the operations of SMEs in the country, as well as expanding access to funding for small businesses.
“Our goal is to significantly improve the tech startup and SMEs industry by 2023 so that our companies are ready for the digital economy,” Mr Channmeta said.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Asean in Hanoi last month, Prime Minister Hun Sen said a priority of his administration is to lead the country into a new stage of development in which Cambodia is a competitive player in the digital economy.