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Laos Reports on Science and Technological Progress in ASEAN

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Senior officials from Laos joined the 9th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (IAMMST-9) and ASEAN Committee meeting on Science and Technology in Cambodia recently, aiming to further research and development in the sector.

Laos has a defined plan and strategy for this sector, which focuses on developing scientific and technological thought and innovation as well as the development of human resources, officials reported at the meeting.

Meanwhile the Lao government has confirmed that it will implement the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science and Technology.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Houmphanh Intrarath told ASEAN delegates in Siem Reap, Cambodia that Laos has cooperated with regional and international counterparts to further development in the sector and exchange experience in the field of science and technology.

I would like to say that it has been a great honour for me to chair several meetings and truly it was a great experience too, Mr Houmphanh said.

We believe that the achievements that have been made so far could not have been realised without the active participation of each of the delegates.

During the meeting, ASEAN ministers adopted the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation 2016-2025 Implementation Plan (APASTI).

Ministers noted the two planned Calls for Project Proposals in January and July 2017, funded by the ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Fund to support activities under APASTI, Mr Houmphanh said.

Noting the importance of innovation as a key driver for the ASEAN economy, the ministers agreed to develop an ASEAN Declaration on Innovation for adoption by ASEAN Leaders in 2017, and tasked the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (COST) to formulate it, he added.

Mr Houmphanh went on to explain the ASEAN COST achievements from November 2015 to October 2016, noting some that have been accomplished in research and development.

In addition, I would like to express my gratitude for the effort and energy put into the conduct of all ASEAN activities over the last year, he added.

The ministers highlighted the need to support and motivate Asean researchers in the field of science, technology and innovation as part of preparations for the changing economic landscape, where creativity and innovation are required for ASEAN to remain relevant and competitive.

The IAMMST-9 meeting was chaired by the Minister of Industry and Handicrafts of Cambodia, Dr Cham Prasidh, and attended by science and technology ministers and senior officials from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, the Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Secretary-General of ASEAN, Mr Le Luong Minh and his staff were also in attendance.

Source: Vientiane Times