SIEM REAP, 18 December 2018 – Around 100 young entrepreneurs from ASEAN and China convened at the 2nd ASEAN-China Young Entrepreneur Forum on 17-18 December in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to discuss the challenges of technology and innovation in business.

In the forum themed  “Harnessing Technology and Innovation for Resilient SMEs Development,” the participants, about a third of them were women, together with representatives of business associations and small and medium enterprises (SME) agencies from across Southeast Asia and China came up with key recommendations on how to overcome the challenges of technology and innovation.

The forum was opened by  Kan Pharidh, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia and ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting Leader of Cambodia; along with Pin Prakad, Deputy Governor of Siem Reap; Fang Bing, Counsellor of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN; and Dr. Heng Sokkung, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft of Cambodia.

In his opening remarks, Kan Pharidh emphasised that in light of the ASEAN-China Year of Innovation and the 15th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership in 2018, deepening innovation cooperation was of mutual interest and benefit for China and ASEAN to cope with the growing regional and global challenges as well as achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

The two-day forum served as a platform for young entrepreneurs from ASEAN and China to exchange views on the impact of policies and good practices in the adoption of new technology and innovation into their business activities, with a view to encouraging them to further contribute to the ASEAN Community building and ASEAN-China economic cooperation.

Topics discussed included the importance of harnessing technology and innovation for SMEs in ASEAN Member States and China, key challenges hindering technology adoption and innovation, potential and challenges brought by China’s rapid advances in technology and innovation on businesses in ASEAN Member States and possible joint ventures, and recommendations on how to promote greater role of innovation for SME development. Through the forum, ASEAN and China young entrepreneurs were also able to establish networking and business linkages, and explore possible collaborations.

The forum organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, and supported by the ASEAN-China Centre and the government of the People’s Republic of China through the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund.

***