Excellency Mr. Rethy, Minister Delegate attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation of Cambodia,
Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to speak at the Cambodia Tech Expo on “Unleashing the potential of STI for inclusive and sustainable development.”
Harnessing the potential of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) will be pivotal to meeting the ambitions of the SDGs; and building back better from the pandemic with inclusivity, resilience and sustainability.
To do so, we need to build technological and innovation capabilities that can solve the pressing economic, social and environmental challenges of our time.
Meeting this objective will require governments to invest in the formulation and implementation of STI policies that enable industrial development and build productive capacities.
It will also require policies that go beyond economic imperatives to include social and environmental goals and leave no one behind.
Such strategic policymaking can only succeed if implemented by a government that is motivated, with leadership capable of seeing beyond short-term gains and committed to a long-term plan for national prosperity.
The Royal Government of Cambodia has shown such foresight and leadership; through the establishment of the new Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation; and through the adoption of Cambodia’s “STI Roadmap 2030,” which established a clear vision to leverage STI for inclusive and sustainable development.
The Roadmap is a celebration of the fruitful partnership between ESCAP and the Ministry, and it has been a pleasure and an honour for ESCAP to partner with and support Cambodia in this endeavour.
And our partnership remains active even after the Roadmap. Building on this work, ESCAP is also supporting the development of Cambodia’s National Research Agenda.
This new project is set to identify the overarching scientific challenges for the future of the nation and enable thematic prioritization and efficient allocation of resources.
Over the past few years, ESCAP has supported governments in the Asia-Pacific region to align STI policies to the SDGs, develop more inclusive digital strategies and innovate business to look beyond the profit imperative through the promotion of social and women’s entrepreneurship, inclusive business and impact investing.
The need for collaboration between countries is more urgent than ever. The grand challenges we collectively face today demand forward-looking and innovative solutions that go beyond business as usual. Science, technology and innovation can provide responses to these challenges.
We are currently facilitating a process for Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam to develop a South-South collaboration programme on STI for the SDGs.
I sincerely hope that the STI policies that we have co-created advance the goal of building a more prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable future for Cambodia.
I wish you every success with the future development of STI in Cambodia, and we stand ready to continue to support you on this ambitious journey.
Thank you very much