Focus Group Discussion on "Stakeholder Perspectives on Cambodia's Potential in Digital Economy Agreement Negotiations"
Phnom Penh: On August 10, 2023, at the Oakwood Premier Phnom Penh Hotel, the General Secretariat of the Digital Economy and Business Committee (DEBC) facilitated and organized a focus group discussion on "Stakeholder Perspectives on Cambodia's Potential in Digital Economy Agreement Negotiations" to collect data and gather inputs of analysis on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the digital economy agreement for Cambodia.
The focus group discussion was presided under the high presidency of H.E. Dr. Taing Nguonly, Deputy Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Digital Economy and Business Committee, High Representative, H.E. Dr. Kong Marry, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and General Secretary of the General Secretariat of the Digital Economy and Business Committee. The discussion panel was attended by representatives from relevant institutions, including representatives of public institutions, the private sector, development partners, business associations, and about 50 research institutions.
The focus of this panel discussion is part of the data collection of the General Secretariat of the Economic and Digital Business Committee's research data on the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for Cambodia in its readiness to prepare and participate in the negotiations of digital economy agreement in the future. The discussion panel mainly discussed four major topics: 1 Digital Trade and Cross-Border E-commerce, 2. Data Protection and Privacy, Online Safety and Cybersecurity, 3. Talent Mobility and Cooperation, and 4. Cooperation on Emerging Topics.
H.E. Dr. Taing Nguonly gave the opening remarks at the opening ceremony, highlighting the evolving trends of regional and global digital economy development, including an increase in preparing the Digital Economy Agreement in force. The Royal Government attaches great importance and priority to the development of the digital sector through the introduction of significant digital policies such as Cambodia Digital Economy and Society Policy Framework 2021-2035, and Cambodia Digital Government Policy 2022-2035. The Royal Government also issued decision No. 51, on 11th July 2023 to establish 13 technical working groups to promote and support the digital economy and prepare a digital economy agreement composed of inter-ministerial, and institutions, as well as setting priorities for the development of the digital sector in the Pentagon strategy in the first phase of the Royal Government in the 7th legislature of the National Assembly.
With a diverse mix of representatives from public, private, research, and business associations, each group discussed the current state of digital economy development, threats, and opportunities, including Cambodia's readiness to participate in the negotiation of the digital economy agreement, especially the ASEAN Digital Economy Agreement, which is scheduled to begin negotiation in 2025.
Finally, the working group of the General Secretariat of the Digital Economy and Business Committee encouraged all relevant experts and institutions to continuously participate and provide cooperation contributing to preparing study reports and serving as a basis for determining Cambodia's position to be ready to cooperate in the preparation of this digital economy agreement in the future by sending additional inputs via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
As a result, the focus group discussion program went smoothly, achieved the expected results, and received valuable inputs through an interactive and lively discussion with active engagement from stakeholders and participants.