MPTC Hosts Seminar With Private Sector On Digital Development in Cambodia

Ministry of Post and Telecommunications headquarters in Phnom Penh in July 2023. Photo by B2B Cambodia

The Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MPTC) recently held a seminar with private sector stakeholders, including telecommunications and ICT companies, to discuss the development of the digital sector in Cambodia. 

The event’s topic was on “Achievement and Human Resource Development in Digital Sector in Cambodia,” was held on July 14, 2023, at the Ministry’s headquarters in Phnom Penh.

During the seminar, His Excellency Chea Vandeth, the Minister of Post and Telecommunication announced the achievements, opportunities, and challenges of the ministry and updated attendees on the progress and vision of the Royal Government to push for digitalization. 

The Minister emphasized on the development of the Cambodia telecom sector and human resources development aim to prepare for digital transformation, including capacity building and research.

He highlighted that the MPTC has been striving to create a favorable environment for local startups, including cracking down on illegal websites, legalizing companies, and supporting delivery and logistics services.

Besides, the Ministry also wants to improve the telecommunications infrastructure across Cambodia. This includes the installation of 1000 telephone antenna poles in the capital city and the expansion of cable internet networks to provincial, district and communal level, especially within key public institutions such as schools, communes, health centers, and police stations.

The Ministry has already built around 300 antennas in the 14 districts of Phnom Penh, but more stations are still needed. The Minister emphasized that good mobile service is essential and that by the end of this year, all residential complexes (known as Boreys) will have access to it.

Minister of MPTC Chea Vandeth during the seminar. Photo by B2B Cambodia

According to the Minister, currently, around 30% of SIM cards are not properly registered, with 19 million numbers but only 13 million actual subscribers, while Cambodia’s security system is not currently strong enough to prevent professional hackers, but efforts to improve it are ongoing, he said. This would include increased effort on data protection and also within the financial sector by learning from the experiences from ASEAN, Europe and others. 

Another major focus of the event was human resource development in the digital sector in Cambodia. The Minister stressed the importance of cooperation and building a good ecosystem in the industry.

“I want to build a good ecosystem in this industry, and I focus on human resources,” he said. “We have good policy, but five years later, we come back and say, oh we don’t have human resources. So that’s why I focus on human resources,” he added.

According to the Minister, to address the issues the Cambodian Academy of Digital Technology has increased their annual recruitment from 100 to 300 students in recent years, with the Ministry providing scholarships for a total of 600 students with rigorous and transparent examinations.

During the event, the Minister noted that many talented students from the provinces are unable to attend high-quality universities due to financial constraints and end up accepting scholarships from lower-quality institutions, which leads them to not receive the education and training required to succeed in their careers. 

“Their ability to walk is 10 kilometers, but they can only walk 1 kilometer because they studied at not good universities,” he said.

In his concluding remarks, His Excellency Chea Vandeth stated that his ministry is encouraging training in essential skills such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, software development, AI, and data science to support the growth of Cambodia’s digital industry. 

In June of this year, the Cambodian government expanded its plan for a Digital Economy and Society Framework by 2035. The primary objectives of the digital plan are to strengthen work efficiency, improve public service delivery, and enhance national security and transparency.

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