Thailand, Laos ink digital agreement
Thailand and Laos signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Friday for a three-year collaboration on mail delivery, telecom and digital technology.
Digital Economy and Society Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said the MoU is a consequence of previous discussions between Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong and Thansamay Kommasith, Laos's minister of post, telecommunications and communications, that took place in December 2016 at the Asean Telecom Ministries forum in Brunei.
Mr Pichet said the collaboration is based on the principle of equality and reciprocity to develop long-term and sustainable cooperation.
The areas of collaboration cover a variety of categories, including ICT and digital technology, policies and regulatory practices, digital government, cybersecurity, digital policy promotion, and innovations such as big data, the Internet of Things and cloud computing.
There will also be cooperation on digital literacy, digital inclusion and e-commerce; research and development; and knowledge and experience sharing. Mr Pichet said the two countries are willing to set up enterprises to explore and cooperate in the fields of mail delivery, telecommunications, ICT and digital technology.
To accomplish the objectives, the cooperation will be implemented in six ways: exchanging information on the latest achievements, progress and development plans; visits and consultations; exchanging delegations and experts; coordinating in the implementation of joint projects; facilitating ICT and digital technology startups; and organising exhibitions, training courses, workshops and seminars.
Mr Pichet said funding and resources for the activities under the framework of the MoU will be agreed upon by the participants on a case-by-case and non-binding basis.
Mr Thansamay said Laos needs to be transformed from a landlocked country to a land-link country through numerous infrastructure development projects, especially broadband internet collaboration.
He said parties from Laos should attend knowledge exchange workshops and engage in digital content and ICT community projects in Thailand.
As the MoU neither creates legally binding obligations nor constitutes a treaty under international law, any disputes or differences arising from the interpretation or implementation will be settled through bilateral cooperation.