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Guangzhou, China - 01 Dec 2020

News Number: G/54/2020

International Conference on Emerging Technologies to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic

Guangzhou University, China

Strategies which harnessed emerging technologies and innovations have been crucial to address the challenges faced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic this year and its devastating impacts on societies across the region, shared delegates at an international conference here today.

Jointly organized by the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) and the Ministry of Science and Technology, China, in collaboration with the Guangzhou University, China, the International Conference on Emerging Technologies to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic shone the spotlight on fourth industrial revolution technologies in the areas of healthcare, business, production, education, and research and development during- and post-COVID scenarios.

“As countries are working towards a post-COVID-19 recovery strategy, gaining the public’s trust by increasingly utilizing emerging digital technologies and sharing credible information in a timely manner is essential,” said United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana at the opening.

Ms. Alisjahbana further called upon governments to strengthen the science, technology and innovation (STI) landscape in the region so that it can better contribute to mitigating the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable groups. Governments, she added, should also work closely with the private sector in scaling up ICT infrastructure to ensure the effective use of technological innovations.

The conference also provided a platform to strengthen regional cooperation and identify collaborative research and development opportunities among STI policymakers, research institutions and technology-based enterprises. Recommendations from the conference will feed into member State deliberations at the 16th session of the APCTT Governing Council, to be held from 2 to 3 December. 

On the sidelines of the international conference, the web platform of new Asia-Pacific Regional Innovation Knowledge Network for Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies (APRIKNET-4IR) was launched. Creation of the network was the direct outcome of earlier APCTT meeting, and the network is now funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, China.

Since its 1977 establishment as a subsidiary body of ESCAP, APCTT has been promoting sustainable, equitable and inclusive STI development in the region. In addition to its regular programme of capacity building work and STI-related support to member States, this year the Centre has been at the forefront of organizing regional and international policy workshops to identify and recommend various STI-led policy solutions to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information:

For media enquiries, please contact: 

Mr. Vikas Kumar, Associate Programme Management Officer, APCTT
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
T: (91) 11 3097 3758 / E:

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