Phnom Penh (FN), March 26 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, on Tuesday, presented the advantages and disadvantages of digital technology to the 2019 Cambodia Outlook Conference held at the Great Duke Hotel in Phnom Penh.

Under the theme “Digital Transformation Towards Industry 4.0”, the annual conference was attended by relevant government officials, local and regional experts, researchers, representatives of international development partners, private sector and civil society organizations.

Prime Minister stated that currently, digital technology has been popular globally while Cambodia’s economy is growing in all sectors with the economic growth of 7.5% in 2018. At the same time, Cambodia has experienced economic structural transformation—from heavily agriculture-based economy to industry and service-based economy. Therefore, to seize the full benefits from Digital Economy, Cambodia needs to put more efforts in order to promote strong and high economic growth for the long-term.

According to the Premier, digital technology can drive growth and efficiency. Things such as smart phone, cloud computing, robotics, block chain and internet of things have been creating great possibilities for improving people-to-people connectivity, creating new startups with new ideas, facilitating trades, reducing market barriers, creating opportunities for innovative ideas and entrepreneurial activities.

Secondly, digital technology can improve public sector capacity for the government, increase accountability and transparency in local service delivery and assist government at all levels to reach more people. At the same time, it could also strengthen cooperation, partnership and innovation within ministry and inter-ministries and other relevant institutions across the country.

Prime Minister urged relevant ministries and institutions to focus on three key aspects namely: 1. building infrastructure supporting digital sector, developing e-payment system and logistics network, 2. creating digital platform and developing ecosystem and 3. promoting digitalization of the government, entrepreneurship, digital literacy, and open data.

On the contrary, the Premier also stated that digital technology brings about negative ones as well such as: 1. robots are replacing labor forces, which will lead to unemployment, 2. greater needs for higher skills in order align with the advancement of ICT, 3. rising inequality because of uneven opportunities in getting knowledge and technology and 4. progress of digital technology will increase vulnerabilities to cybercrimes or ICT-related crimes that threaten national securities or social safety.

Industrial Revolution 4.0, which is the current development of science and technology, is becoming an important catalyst for socio-economic development in Cambodia.

Last year’s conference exchanged ideas and views about science and technological development as the foundation for new development strategy as well as vision and long-term goal for Cambodia in 2030 and beyond, according to Strongman Hun Sen.

The Premier also emphasized the need to promote digital economy in Cambodia in order to seize the opportunities and prepare to cope with the impact of Industry 4.0.

2019 Cambodia Outlook Conference marked the13th conference of its kind organized by Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) and G Gear. The conference aims at exchanging views for digital development opportunities to support the kingdom long-term growth and building a strong foundation to strategize digital sector in Cambodia.