S Korea Donates Computers For Cambodian Commerce

South Korea on Thursday do­nated computers and printers to the Ministry of Commerce, gifts officials said would push Cam­bodia’s business people and help further link the country to the outside world.

The 75 computers and 38 printers were given as part of the Infor­mation Technology Transfer project, which aims to improve the IT sector throughout Asia.

Under the same project, Japan has delivered 100 computers, and China will deliver 100 more later this year, officials said Thursday.

Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh called the equipment “a pos­itive response from friends to help Cambodia’s IT sector.”

The ministry will bear the costs of setting up a small, free IT training program for pro­vincial and municipal officials , he said.

“We will connect those training centers to the Internet and they will open for our people the world’s knowledge [that is] so needed to narrow the digital divide between the US and the rest of the world,” Cham Prasidh said.

The ministry said it aims to use computers to help farmers who lack basic information about their products’ marketability. But that will take some time, officials say.

Currently the ministry is working toward educating farmers about product prices through other media, said Khek Ravy, secretary of state for the ministry.

The ministry has also established a Web site to advertise investment opportunities, but so far few other ministries have been able to do the same, he said.

“My ministry is a leading ministry among other ministries for being knowledgeable on the computer networking and Web sites,” Khek Ravy said.

The average Cambodian’s computer literacy lags far behind those of many Asean neigh­bors, but signs of improvement are showing. In recent years, In­ter­net cafes have become more common.

Government spokesman Khieu Kan­harith said Cambodia does not have the tendency to crack down on Internet cafes like its neighbors have in the past.


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