Lao enterprises learn latest industrial digital transformation challenges

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - An expert from Khon Kaen University in Thailand has shared experience on the challenges faced in ‘Industry 4.0’, the current trend in automation, with Lao business operators at a seminar in Vientiane. 

The “Industrial 4.0 Challenge for Enterprise” seminar was held on Tuesday and chaired by Deputy Director of Quality Testing and Standards Certification Centre under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Khanthavong Dalavong.

Digital technology is essential to entrepreneurial success in all sectors today. The nation has tourism potential and next year will launch Visit Laos Year 2018 and operators will be able to use digital technology to help their tourism businesses as well, Supon Seeharach, an expert from the Khon Kaen University of Thailand, said.

In terms of digital technology helping the agricultural sector, local business operators must pay attention to its further development in order to ensure higher yields and reduced investment costs.

In the SME sector, Laos mostly imports consumer products from overseas countries due to an insufficient production base in the country, so small medium enterprises (SME) should use more digital technology in their businesses.

“Laos needs to use this digital technology in SME. If the nation ignores this technology they will be unable to compete with other countries,” Supon said.

They should learn from successful countries in digital technology to develop it in Laos as well, he added.

Industry 4.0 refers the fourth industrial revolution which started with steam power (Industry 1.0), electric power (Industry 2.0), and computing power (Industry 3.0).

Industry 4.0 uses of Internet of Things technology to connect everything in a plant, machines, equipment, and the produced goods itself.

“The meeting aims to disseminate the importance of digital technology to the government and private sectors. That’s why we invited an expert from Thailand who has advanced digital technology development; so we need to learn from them,” Khanthavong said.

It was necessary for all government and private sectors and educational institutions to be prepared for the challenge of the digital era ahead. The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry was chosen for organising the seminar being the centre for the business sector, he said.

“After this seminar, we plan to cooperate with Vietnam and China on future digital technology development as well,” Khanthavong added.

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