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New ministry in the vanguard of digital revolution in Kingdom

Sun Mesa / Khmer Times Share:
Minister Cham Prasidh. KT/Pann Rachana

In a bid to respond to emerging digital innovation and global technological trends, a draft law submitted to the National Assembly regarding the proposed Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation – currently named Ministry of Industry and Handicraft – presents seven articles designed to focus on the industrial sector, including handicraft and water supply; and science, technology and innovation.

In a plenary session tomorrow, the National Assembly is set to make a decision over the proposed renaming and reformation of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft.

The session follows after the Council of Ministers approved the renaming of the ministry in January at the request of Minister Cham Prasidh – a motion which was supported by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

A letter signed by the Council of Ministers said the government has decided to establish two sub-units under the reformed ministry: the General Department of Science, Technology and Innovation and the National Institute of Science, Technology and Innovation.

“The new ministry will continue operations just like the previous ministry until new functions are set in place,” it added.

National Committee of Science, Technology and Innovation chairman Tung Ciny said yesterday the move serves to fast-track the government’s long-term vision of fostering digital innovation.

“This is in response to the country’s changing developmental needs in conjunction with emerging technological trends and innovations,” he said. “The reformed ministry will be a key player in the Kingdom’s attempt to achieve a digital economy to keep pace with the industrial revolution 4.0 – a goal shared with other Asean member-states.”

“Developments in science, technology and innovation present an effective tool for pushing productivity growth in the Kingdom’s agricultural, tourism and industrial sectors. We expect higher income for the public with the onset of digital transformations,” Mr Ciny said.

However, Mr Ciny said, upon approval from the National Assembly, the reformed ministry is expected to face a lack in human resource.

“We need to gather scientists to push all sectors and work with regional partners to gain further technical knowledge as we move to catch up with other countries,” he said.

During a recent meeting regarding the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Finance Ministry undersecretary of state Phan Phalla said policymakers are focusing on ensuring the nation is in a good position to reap the benefits of recent technological advancements.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution may bring opportunities, including increasing wealth, productivity and  economic inclusion, which is what Cambodia is aiming for,” he said.


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