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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

24 August 2022


Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this second workshop to define common priorities for collaboration on Science, Technology and Innovation among Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam.

I am impressed by the commitment you and your countries have shown to participate in this initiative.

I appreciate the level of ambition that you are seeking for this collaboration, as well as the depth of the insights and suggestions that you shared during the launch event two weeks ago.

Multiple challenges we collectively face today demand multilateral cooperation. By leveraging domestic and external resources as well as your combined experiences and expertise, you have an opportunity to boost national innovation capabilities, tackle high-priority societal challenges and nurture shared prosperity.

You definitely can count on us, ESCAP; we have over years of experience in supporting governments to formulate science, technology and innovation (STI) policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Today marks a critical moment in your journey of collaboration. You will collectively agree on what the priorities are for cooperation on science, technology and innovation.

Establishing priorities is fundamental to making change happen. To identify those priorities with the greatest potential for a positive impact, you can consider three elements:

First, what are those common and urgent challenges - regarding post-COVID recovery, energy and food crises and the climate emergency – where science, technology and innovation can make the largest difference?

Second, leverage your strengths and upcoming opportunities. This may be your leading enterprises, scientists or youth and their interest to explore, innovate and build impact businesses. It could be economic activities, such as the green economy, where there are clear needs and investment opportunities to grow and expand.

Third, start with those areas likely to receive support and commitments from your Governments, ministries, stakeholders  academic institutions or the private sector. Consider which projects you are ready to invest in.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

The success of South-South and triangular collaboration will be built on the human and knowledge networks you will be establishing today and through the peer learning and community of practice we have set up. I encourage everyone to participate in the community of practice.

I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank the Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO). They have organized two stimulating study tours to Thailand Science Park and True Digital Park.

Seeing is believing, and this tour will give you the opportunity to see first-hand the type of infrastructure and collaboration that can be built when there is a determined strategy and commitment from public agencies and private enterprises to build capacities in science, technology and innovation.  

We are very pleased to facilitate this process to develop a strategy for Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam to tackle the grand challenges of our time with science, technology and innovation.

I wish you all the best in your discussions today, and ESCAP stands ready to support you all – both now and in the future.

Thank you very much.

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