Phnom Penh, Cambodia: The Ministry of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Microsoft Operations Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, based in Singapore, signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote and undertake cooperation in the field of Information Communications and Technology (ICT).
The MOU was signed under the auspices of H.E. PAN Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, and Ms. Michelle Simmons, General Manager for New Markets, Microsoft.
Speaking at the ceremony, H.E. PAN Sorasak described the significance of ICT in supporting all aspects of people’s lives, including daily communication, work, and business. He said the cooperation will better contribute to ICT development and help Cambodian people leverage the benefits of technology and software innovation. “We are looking to benefit from our cooperation with Microsoft in conducting a number of educational, outreach and dissemination events, including adoption of information technology, the promotion of using genuine and virus-free software, education on cybersecurity, introduction to the latest information technologies, etc.” said H.E. PAN Sorasak, adding that the Ministry and Microsoft will jointly implement a project called Translator HUB-Khmer, an application aimed to break down the language barrier by providing simultaneous translation from one language to another over the internet.
In term of benefits for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the Minister said that such technology would facilitate communication and eliminate barriers to businessmen and investors. “The availability of this technology could only strengthen Cambodia’s ability to compete and take advantage of new opportunities brought about by this regional integration,” he added.
The MoU that becomes effective from today covers 10 clauses and identifies the roles and responsibilities of the two institutions for fruitful cooperation. It clearly sets out the intention of both parties to engage in consultation to formulate concrete cooperation schedules and exercise reasonable efforts and good faith to implement the collaboration. With regard to Microsoft Translator Hub-Khmer project, the Ministry of Commerce is tasked to arrange for the manpower and experts required to upload at least 100,000 parallel sentences, both in English and in Khmer as well as to provide physical space necessary to deliver the related workshop.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is responsible for conducting a workshop on site to teach students and teachers how to use the translation platform to upload Khmer phrases, and to train programmers. It will also work with the Ministry to enhance the ICT ecosystem and talent in Cambodia by engaging developers, startups, and educators, leveraging Microsoft resources for youth and startups (called YouthSpark and BizSpark), Microsoft innovative educators, and Microsoft Philanthropies, as well as providing expert commentary and best international policy and practice on ICT matters, including cloud computing, Intellectual Property, e-commerce, etc. “Our mission is to empower every person and organization to achieve more, and we believe that our collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce will strengthen ICT as pillar of Cambodian development and competitiveness,” said Ms. Simmons of Microsoft.