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PM Pledge for Innovation Dominates 20th ASEAN Ministerial on Science and Technology

PHNOM PENH, June 7, 2024 – This morning, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet officially opened the 20th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology, and Innovation in Siem Reap, emphasizing the pivotal role of artificial intelligence in shaping the region's future. The conference, themed "Using Artificial Intelligence: The Road to the Future," seeks to harness the transformative power of AI and other technologies to propel Southeast Asia forward.

The event saw the participation of ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn, ministers responsible for Science, Technology, and Innovation across ASEAN member states, and senior officials from the Cambodian government. The gathering underscores ASEAN's commitment to deepening integration and cooperation in technological advancements.

Prime Minister Hun Manet, in his opening address, highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts to drive innovation and adapt to rapidly changing technological landscapes. "Our region stands on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before," said Hun Manet.

The conference agenda includes discussions on the ASEAN Action Plan on Science, Technology, and Innovation 2016-2025 (APASTI 2016-2025), a critical roadmap for the region's scientific and technological pursuits. The meeting also aims to lay the groundwork for the next iteration of the plan, APASTI 2026-2035, which will outline strategic goals and initiatives for the next decade.

In addition to policy discussions, the meeting features panels and workshops that explore the integration of AI technologies in various sectors including healthcare, urban planning, and education. These sessions aim to foster dialogue on ethical considerations, regulatory frameworks, and the equitable distribution of technology benefits across ASEAN populations.

The 20th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology, and Innovation serves as a platform for policy formulation and a catalyst for strengthening regional partnerships and promoting sustainable development through innovation. It reflects ASEAN's proactive stance in embracing the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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