Cambodia and Indonesia Explore STI and MSME Collaborations

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Cambodia and Indonesia are actively exploring potential collaborations in science, technology, innovation (STI), and support for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). This initiative aims to strengthen bilateral relations and foster economic growth through mutual cooperation.

Recently, Hem Vanndy, Minister of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation (MISTI), welcomed a delegation from the Indonesian Embassy led by Ambassador Santo Darmosumarto. The meeting underscored Indonesia’s participation in the 20th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology, and Innovation (AMMSTI-20) in Siem Reap, where discussions focused on regional cooperation and advancing the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology, and Innovation.

Ambassador Darmosumarto, who highlighted the importance of enhancing bilateral ties, proposed signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two nations. The proposed MoU would concentrate on digital transformation, technology support for MSME development, vocational education, and laboratory cooperation to ensure product standards meet market demands in both countries.

Minister Vanndy expressed readiness to sign the MoU, emphasising Cambodia’s commitment to leveraging MSMEs as a key driver of economic growth. He mentioned the government’s initiatives, such as the National Strategy for Developing the Informal Economy, aimed at formalising MSMEs to enhance their access to social protections and capacity development opportunities.

With Cambodia hosting the recent AMMSTI-20, both countries see potential for further collaboration in STI. Vanndy highlighted Cambodia’s ambition to advance technologically and noted the country’s role alongside Indonesia as co-creators of the ASEAN Technology Transfer Hub.

Furthermore, Vanndy proposed establishing a laboratory alliance between Cambodian and Indonesian labs to facilitate mutual recognition of testing and lab results across ASEAN countries, aligning with the 2025 ASEAN harmonised standards.

Regarding Cambodia’s startup ecosystem, Minister Vanndy mentioned initiatives to support SMEs and startups, including Khmer Enterprise and the Decho Startup Centre. He encouraged Indonesian investors to consider Cambodia as an investment destination, highlighting Indonesia as Cambodia’s sixth-largest trading partner with trade volumes exceeding $1 billion in 2023.

The ongoing discussions between Cambodia and Indonesia underscore their commitment to deepening bilateral ties and fostering economic cooperation through innovative collaborations in STI and MSME support.