Bangkok, 11 August 2022 (TDI): The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is supporting the launch of a new collaboration program on science, technology, and innovation (STI).

The program will be focusing on Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Thailand, as well as Vietnam.

Through this initiative, the four countries will forge a mutually advantageous relationship between them. The primary goal will be to address shared issues and possibilities for advancing technological advancements, scientific knowledge, and innovation.

UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana stated that countries must take advantage of science, technology, and innovation if they are to meet the ambitious targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Moreover, by promoting south-south and triangular cooperation in this area, the goal is to improve national innovation capabilities, tackle high-priority societal concerns, and foster shared prosperity.

According to Kieth Rethy Chhem, Minister Delegate Attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State, STI cooperation and collaboration between neighboring countries is crucial to address shared challenges in the context of sustainable development.

Kitipong Promwong, President of the Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO) of Thailand underscored the significance of sustainable development and technological solutions.

According to him, by enhancing the use of technological solutions and scientific knowledge for more sustainable economic models, the collaboration program will benefit people and the environment.

Furthermore, he said that the government of Thailand has introduced Bio-Circular-Green Economic Model, also known as BCG, as a new economic model.

It has been launched to promote inclusive and sustainable growth on both a national and regional level. The initiative complements the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on STI Policy (ARTNETonSTI).

Moreover, its objective is to promote forward-thinking, empirically-based science, technology, and innovation policies for inclusive and sustainable development.

To fulfill the promise of STI to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, countries need concerted efforts to fully realize the potential of scientific knowledge, digital technology, and business innovations.

Also, with the help of this collaborative initiative, the participating nations’ strategic STI cooperation will be supported by the identification of specific areas, institutional commitments, and resources.