Digital expertise needed to fuel development: Lao minister

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The nation needs to cultivate digital expertise to underpin a solid technology foundation for applications and services so it can meet the country’s future development needs, according to a leading official.

Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Dr Boviengkham Vongdara, gave the advice at the Industry 4.0 and Digital Technology Application Meeting held in Vientiane yesterday.

During the meeting, participants reported on the progress of their activities, discussed changes in digital technology and shared ideas to ensure Laos is fully ready to enter the Industry 4.0 era.

Prof. Dr Boviengkham said digital specialists had an important role to play in contributing to the sustainable socio-economic and cultural development of Laos.

He highlighted the improvement of human resources in scientific research but encouraged more people to enter the field so the country could have the digital skills necessary to accelerate the development process.

“We lack the expertise needed for the administration and support of our development in Industry 4.0”, he added

He noted that Industry 4.0, the so-called fourth industrial revolution, was rapidly developing in many countries around the world and reform was needed to prepare for the world’s change and use the potential of the modern era, especially in digital technology.

“We need to urgently create conditions for the development and use of such technology to improve the efficiency of public administration,” he said.

“It’s an important tool in stimulating and developing the economy and social development.  It will help us deal with the challenges our country is facing and to better integrate with the region and the world as a whole,” he added.

The meeting also included a presentation by the Digital Literacy Department about the use and development of electronic transactions.

According to the ministry, the government is encouraging the private sector to invest in this area as part of the Science and Technology Development Strategy to 2025 and the Vision to 2030.

The ministry’s strategy focuses on developing scientific and technological thought and innovation, the development of human resources, and the building of science and technology centres in rural areas.  

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