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Indonesia Aims to Enhance Cooperation with Cambodia in Science, Technology, Innovation, and SME Support

Phnom Penh, June 12, 2024: Hem Vandy, Cambodia's Minister of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation, met with a delegation from the Indonesian Embassy, led by Santo Darmosumarto. Their discussion revolved around deepening ties in the sectors of science, technology, innovation, and enhancing support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The Minister acknowledged the robust bilateral relations between the two nations, highlighting Indonesia’s active participation in the recent 20th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology, and Innovation held in Siem Reap.

Darmosumarto outlined his objectives in Cambodia, which include bolstering bilateral cooperation, fostering connections particularly among the youth, and enhancing regional collaboration within ASEAN frameworks. He also discussed safeguarding the interests of Indonesian nationals in Cambodia.

Appreciating Cambodia's role as the host of the AMMSTI-20, Darmosumarto expressed a keen interest in expanding cooperation. He proposed a Memorandum of Understanding to foster digital transformation and technological advancement, particularly in SME development, vocational education, and enhancing laboratory cooperation to meet international market standards.

Vandy showed readiness to sign the Memorandum and emphasized the pivotal role of micro and small enterprises within the Cambodian economy, mentioning the national strategy aimed at integrating SMEs into formal economic systems, enhancing social protection, and skill development.

Highlighting the disparity in the number of SMEs between the two countries, with Cambodia having 750,000 and Indonesia around 65 million, Vandy noted the potential for Cambodia to benefit from Indonesia’s extensive experience.

On science and technology, Vandy shared Cambodia’s ambitions to leapfrog technology developments, mentioning ongoing collaborative projects like the ASEAN Technology Transfer Center. He suggested transforming the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Laboratory into a public institution to better serve the private sector.

He proposed establishing a laboratory alliance to facilitate the mutual recognition of test results across ASEAN by 2025, underscoring the initiative’s alignment with ASEAN’s standards harmonization goals.

Vandy also highlighted several initiatives aimed at nurturing Cambodia’s SME and startup ecosystem, including the Cambodian Entrepreneurs initiative, the new “Techo” Business Training Center, and various funding mechanisms.

Pointing out that Indonesia is Cambodia’s sixth-largest trading partner, with trade volumes exceeding $1 billion in 2023, Vandy encouraged more Indonesian investors to explore opportunities in Cambodia.

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