Digital Economy Takes Centre Stage


Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Cambodia yesterday launched its latest publication, a compendium of articles by local and international authors that describes Cambodia’s evolution in the last 10 years toward a digital economy.

Touch Socheata, co-founder of InoTED, gives a presentation at yesterday’s event. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Composed of 140 pages and 12 chapters, the book – titled ‘Economic transformation in Cambodia and abroad’ – was released yesterday in a ceremony that included presentations from Cambodian authors and foreign speakers.

Some of the issues addressed in the publication include the role of women in the digital economy, e-commerce and drafting regulation for the sector.

Although most authors are Cambodian, the book also includes articles from Chinese writers on artificial intelligence, and from German researchers on the influence of online platforms and the challenges that small and medium-sized enterprises will face in coming years.

Robert Hoer, programme manager for Digitalisation KAS Cambodia, said the aim of the publication is to share knowledge and possibly provide guidance to the government and other relevant actors in regulating the sector.

“We collected data to inform policymakers and ordinary citizens, so everyone knows what’s going on.

“To develop a good policy you need to hear from people with different points of view.

“The government is now working on the e-commerce law, and I think they will create an effective policy. I hope this publication can help these policymakers in the process,’ Mr Hoer said.

The book provides a general overview of digital trends in Cambodia over the past ten years by focusing on tech enterprises and the development of the country’s e-commerce ecosystem, said Montha Kanika, data scientist at the American University of Phnom Penh.

“It ends with a set of recommendations to help Cambodia make the most of the opportunities available, deal with the challenges and harness local trends to become a successful digital economy in the future,’ Ms Kanika said, adding that the Kingdom is home to a blossoming startup ecosystem.

Touch Socheata, co-founder of InoTED (Innovative Technology for Education, Tourism and Development), stressed the need for Cambodia to focus on building its human capital while finishing the framework that will govern the e-commerce sector.

“Our human resources are still very limited,” Ms Socheata said. “Fortunately, the government and the private sector are working together to help bridge the skills gap.”