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Digital economy 'essential' for ASEAN development

Foreign ministry secretary of state Kung Phoak speaks at a press conference on the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM). MFAIC
Foreign ministry secretary of state Kung Phoak speaks at a press conference on the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM). MFAIC

Digital economy 'essential' for ASEAN development

Kung Phoak, secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said Cambodia and other ASEAN member states need to fully embrace the digital economy.

With the digital economy adding "up to $1 trillion to the GDP of ASEAN", he said its development is essential.

Phoak presented a report outlining the results of the participation of the foreign minister Prak Sokhonn at the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on July 18.

He said the benefits brought by the digital economy makes it crucial in the development of the Southeast Asian bloc.

“Based on our evaluations, the digital economy will add up to $1 trillion to the GDP of ASEAN from now until 2030.

"Strengthening the digital economy is therefore of great importance,” Phoak said.

On July 11, the government set up a technical working group – made up of 13 teams and tasked with preparing digital economy agreements – to support and stimulate the digital economy.

Ky Sereyvath, an economics researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the working group is important as it would greatly increase the participation of the public and the involvement of experts in the digital economy.

"So far, Cambodian people's involvement in digital business has remained somewhat limited, while educating children in this field has also been rather lacking.

"Therefore, the setting up of this working group marks the beginning of a more effective stimulation of the Kingdom's digital economy.

"This working group would become the one to formulate policies and guide strategies to help people better understand the digital system," Sereyvath said.

According to the government directive, the working group comprises 13 teams, with each playing different roles in the carrying out and leading of tasks.

The working group is made up of a central coordination team; an electronic invoice team, an e-tax team; a digital financial business regulation team; an e-commerce coordination team; an e-payment system team; and an e-commerce team.

It also comprises a digital identification team; a vocational training team; a resource building team; a technology, science and innovation promotion team; a digital safety, cybersecurity and data governance team; and a digital infrastructure and connectivity team.

The directive noted that other groups would come from the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) ; the Ministry of Economy and Finance; Ministry of Commerce; Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training; Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport; Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation; and Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.


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