Hiem Phommachanh, minister of Post and Telecommunications of Lao PDR. [Photo from China News Service by Hu Yan]
Honorable Excellency Mr Lu Wei, Minister, The Cyberspace Administration of China,
Honorable Excellency Mr Peng Qinghua, Secretary of CPC Guangxi Zhuang Automomous Rigion and Chairman of the Standing Committee of People’s Congress of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region,
Honorable Excellency Mr Lin Nianxiu, Vice Minister of National Development and Reform Commission of China,
Excellencies, Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlements,
At the outset, its kind invitation to us to attend. On behalf of the Lao delegation, we would also like to thank the Cyberspace Administration of China, the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region, and the organizing committee for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements.
Your Excellency, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, Our government attaches a special importance to the theme of the “China-ASEAN Information Harbor Forum” as we are implementing our policy in transforming our landlocked status to a land linked.
Over the past decade, the ICT, in particular the internet has accounted for a significant percentage of the GDP growth in many countries including my country. My government uses the internet to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in the administration and provision of services, and recognizes it as a powerful tool for driving the national social economic development. At the same time, the individuals and small, upstart entrepreneurs have been greatly benefitting from the internet in improving their daily lives and businesses.
We acknowledge China’s assistance in the successful of several ICT related cooperation activities between China and ASEAN. At the 9th TELMIN (the ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers) + China meeting at the beginning of 2015 in Bangkok, China and ASEAN member states endorsed the 2015 ASEAN-China ICT Work Plan to exchange and cooperate in the areas of network interconnectivity, e-commerce development, big data technologies and applications, mobile Internet services and network security. We are looking forward to working toward the plan on the last quarter of 2015.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MPT) of Laos has been established in 2011 to plays the role of policy maker, regulator and monitoring our ICT developments. We recently passed the Cyber Crime Law. We are working on the ICT Law, ICT Policy and Cyber Security Policy. MPT is implementing satellite projects, thanks to close cooperation from China. Our first satellite will be launched at the end of this November which will represent as a special gift for the country on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of its founding on December 2nd.
The Lao Government highly values the “One Belt and One Road” initiative set forth by Chinese Government. We believe it could open up many opportunities for our country to connect with the region and other parts of the world. No doubt, the use of ICT will help for new development opportunities.
Geographically, Laos is a land-locked country that has borders with China and four other ASEAN countries. Some challenges that we face are the fact that we do not have a submarine cable system, the lack of human resources, and the lack of funding for the on growing ICT infrastructure development internally and at the same time the on going integration requirements. We currently realize the fiber optic connection via China, Thailand, and Vietnam. Therefore, we are open to cooperate with all of our neighboring countries in enabling the linkage such as the linkage between ASEAN and China for Mutual Benefits and Win-Win.
At this meaningful event in recognizing the importance of strengthening and further developing bilateral cooperation between the two countries, CAC and MPT will sign a bilateral Memorandum Of Understanding on CyberSpace Cooperation and Development. We believe that this MOU would serve the common interests and contribute to the Win-Win development of both countries. This cooperation would help Laos to reduce the ICT development gap with our neighboring countries and ASEAN to handle the rapid change, and a sustainable development in the field. Also, it will enable us to fulfill our government vision to utilize ICT as a tool for connection.
We wish a great success to our conference.
Thank you for your kind attention!