Thailand, Laos ink MoU covering post, digital tech

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) on Monday entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreement with the Ministry of Technology and Communications of Laos to collaborate in the postal, digital infrastructure development, ICT and e-commerce fields for eight years.

The accord also includes an exchange of information on achievements, progress and development plans in the fields called joint projects that will increase operational efficiency and mutual potential.

The draft MoU agreement was approved in the cabinet meeting on Oct 25 as it was proposed by the DES Ministry to enhance the mutual interest of the two countries in the areas of postal, telecoms and digital technology.

The collaboration on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefits is targeted to contribute to sustainable relationships and cooperation among both parties, according to the DES Ministry.

DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said the cooperation will deepen partnership cooperation between the two countries in terms of investment promotion, technical development, market expansion as well as human resources development in the fields of postal services, telecom and digital platforms.

The agreement will see the cooperation start from the date when it was signed over the course of five years with an automatic extension of three years.

There are multiple frameworks regarding the cooperation, including digital government, digital economy, smart city, digital skills, electronic transactions, cybersecurity, development of ICT industry such as hardware, software and digital content, as well as internet broadband infrastructure.

Others are ICT innovations and digital technologies, such as big data, Internet of Things and cloud computing; digital literacy; the use of digital technology to promote opportunities and support digital inclusion; e-commerce; research and development; as well as human resources development.

For the joint projects, Mr Chaiwut said both sides will exchange information about achievements, progress and development plans.

Both parties will also have visits and meetings as well as the exchange of technical experts to enhance operational efficiency and drive the potential of the two countries.

The agreement will also see the collaboration in supporting startups through exhibitions, training programmes, workshops and seminars, the minister said.

“We are neighbouring countries and the cooperation without borders will support our potential in the digital era for sustainability and optimum benefits,” said Mr Chaiwut.

Lao Technology and Communications Minister Boviengkham Vongdara said the signing of the MoU will strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the ministries for the benefits of both Thai and Lao people in the future.