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At World Economic Forum, Hun Sen Promotes ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’


Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen talks to local and international media in a press conference in World Economic Forum on ASEAN, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday May 11, 2017. (Khan Sokummono/ VOA Khmer)

Hun Sen claimed Cambodia would be at the forefront of developing technology skills to rival its Asean neighbors.

Prime Minister Hun Sen used his platform at the World Economic Forum in East Asia on Thursday to suggest Cambodia was preparing for a “fourth industrial revolution” in technology.

The premier, one of the keynote speakers at the forum held in Phnom Penh last week, claimed Cambodia would be at the forefront of developing technology skills to rival its Asean neighbors.

“What I was hoping was to narrow the brain gap. What Asean can do, we have do be able to do as well,” he said. “This can be done by investing more in human resource training in Cambodia.”

The longtime autocrat added that the government’s industrial policy has set out a roadmap for technological advancement until 2025.

The idea of a fourth industrial revolution was first put forward by Klaus Schwab, a founder of the World Economic Forum.

Chheang Vannarith, chairman at Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies, said economic growth must be coupled with technological knowledge for a modern economy to blossom.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, second left, stands along side with Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguye Xuan Phuc, Kith Meng, far right, and other delegates at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday May 12, 2017. (Khan Sokummono/VOA Khmer)
Prime Minister Hun Sen, second left, stands along side with Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguye Xuan Phuc, Kith Meng, far right, and other delegates at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday May 12, 2017. (Khan Sokummono/VOA Khmer)

“For example, if a community has slow economic growth, but they have knowledge or skills, they can also develop that community. It has to be on the same road. If that area is poor and cannot afford a child’s education, then the gap will be bigger,” he said.

“What we can do with the fourth industrial revolution relating to digital education can be a strategy. So we can create e-learning in Phnom Penh and also in the provinces. We can build e-learning centers that can minimize the knowledge gap and also economic gaps.”

However, he added that there was still a long way to go to achieve technological literacy in Cambodia.

Some 700 delegates from the private and public sector attended the World Economic Forum in East Asia in Phnom Penh last week, including the leaders of several Asean states.

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