Lao technology ministry backs ICT development with contest

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): The Ministry of Technology and Communications is continuing to push for the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), hoping that the developers of new technologies in Laos will be competitive at the regional level.

As part of this drive, the ministry recently announced the winner of the Best ICT Product contest, who will compete in the Asean ICT Award 2021 contest, which this year takes place in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

The winner of the Best ICT Product contest under the Lao ICT Award scheme, among 13 products entered in the contest, was Lailaolab CF for developing a system that enables Small and Medium Enterprises to sell goods on Facebook.

The Lao ICT Award competition 2021 took place at the Institute of Information and Communication Technology and was attended by Deputy Minister of Technology and Communications, Dr Santisouk Simmalavong.

The event took place via a live broadcast on social media due to restrictions imposed because of the Covid outbreak.

ICT Award organisers said the competition played an important role in encouraging the development of ICT products and new technologies and was the perfect platform to raise public awareness about emerging trends in the sector.

The event showcased innovative and sustainable ICT developments and applications in Laos, including their use in the public and private sectors. It also provided information for entrepreneurs, agencies and private enterprises on the use of ICT to increase efficiency, promote entrepreneurship, and streamline services.

According to the ministry, Laos has expanded ICT development, which has seen the number of internet and mobile phone users rise from 5 per cent in 2010 to 48 per cent in 2018. Entrepreneurship has witnessed an annual growth rate of 7 per cent, especially in start-up businesses.

ICT plays an essential role in Lao people’s work and lifestyles, with innovations in computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and organisations upgrading in readiness to access 5G.

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