At the Asean World Economic Forum (WEF), which kicked off in Hanoi yesterday, the emphasis was on the young, giving students and the general public an opportunity to discuss what their future might look like as technological disruption shapes the region.
Secretary of State at the Ministry of Mines and Energy Sok Khavan said, “This is my first time at the WEF and it has proven to be a great forum for the younger generations to get together to discuss and share information and ideas about what we can do to help shape the future.
“It is a really enlightening experience to see leaders, young and old, being given a platform – moderated by a distinguished panel comprising topnotch entrepreneurs, ministers and academicians – to express their views.”
Mr Khavan said the first day got off to a good start with a forum on youth and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He said the key issue is ensuring that startups in the region and citizen’s entrepreneurial spirit are used to create a brighter future for everyone.
“I hope that my participation in the event and my discussions with experts on subjects like natural resource development and petroleum will enable me to bring back home new ideas that can help the government formulate new strategies,” Mr Khavan said.
He said a recent WEF survey showed that young people in Asean are highly optimistic over the impact of technology in their job prospects and income.
In Southeast Asia, around 52 percent of people under 35 years old said they believe technology will increase the number of jobs available, while 67 percent said they think it will increase their ability to earn higher incomes, according to Mr Khavan.
“Cambodia is no different and we are already seeing many startups in technology and other areas, some of which are here in Hanoi attending the WEF. The Cambodian youth, as young people elsewhere in the region, believes strongly that technological innovation will bring better employment opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Justin Wood, member of the executive committee at WEF, said Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies like artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and self-driving vehicles will bring significant disruption to the job market.
This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.