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ERIA Signs MoU with National University of Laos

15 May 2024

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Vientiane, 15 May 2024: ERIA and the National University of Laos (NUOL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the ERIA Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre (E-DISC). The cooperation will encompass joint research, joint workshops and events, and human resources development related to digital innovation and the sustainable economy.

In his opening remarks, Dr Phouphet Kyophilavong, the Vice President of NUOL, highlighted the importance of the MoU in enhancing the university’s research network and capacity building in digital economy development. He emphasised that the collaboration between the two institutions is expected to support Lao PDR’s economic growth. On that occasion, Koji Hachiyama, ERIA's Chief Operating Officer (COO), explained the establishment of E-DISC and its recent activities, including support for the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) negotiations, start-up and entrepreneurship development, and networking among technology universities in ASEAN.

The opening remarks were followed by the main signing ceremony, Dr Kyophilavong, and Hachiyama signed the MoU, marking a significant milestone in their partnership and cooperation.

Following the signing, both parties held a short roundtable discussion. Souknilanh Keola, ERIA’s Senior Economist, delivered a presentation on maximising the utilisation of digital technology, such as using remote-sensing data to monitor the implementation progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Lao PDR. From NUOL’s side, Dr Kyophilavong presented on the digital divide and the importance of supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Lao PDR in adopting digital technology to enhance their businesses.

The official signing ceremony concluded with closing remarks from Daisuke Nakayama, Chief Manager of E-DISC. He expressed his expectation that NUOL's involvement in E-DISC projects would provide opportunities for the university to expand its research network and contribute to accelerating ASEAN’s transformation into a leading digital economy region.

This news article has been featured in Vientiane Times, Borneo Bulletin, Singapore Star, and Xinhua.

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