South Korean software developer Hancom has announced that it will support Laos to develop localized office software.
Currently, Microsoft’s MS Word and MS Office, as well as Google’s Google Docs suite of office software are widely used in Laos.
With a memorandum of understanding signed between Hancom and Laos’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications on August 8, Hancom said it will not only support the Lao government to develop the software but also to realize its goal to become an “e-Government.”
E-Government refers to a government that uses technological communications devices, such as computers and the Internet, to provide public services to citizens and other persons in a country or region.
The South Korean firm did not provide further details about the proposed software will work.
The partnership comes amid the Lao government’s efforts to boost digital infrastructure across the country by 2030.
Its development plan for ICT (Information Communication Technology) 2016-2025 and vision plan for ICT 2030 are examples of the government’s recognition of its need to develop in the sector. In particular, projects to introduce e-Government have been carried out in three stages since 2013.
Hancom, which was established in 1990, has already created Hangul, a native word processing program for the Korean language.
The company also launched Hancom Office, a local software equivalent to MS Office. It consists of Hangul, Hancell (Spreadsheet), and Hanshow (Presentation program).
Hancom also operates a virtual office suite, Thinkfree.
The Thinkfree Office product family includes Thinkfree Online, which is the first MS-compatible web-based online office in the world, Thinkfree Mobile Office, which runs on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and Thinkfree Server, which is a web-based office solution that integrates with on-premises and cloud-based servers.
As a step toward its e-government goal, a Korean firm also assisted Laos in developing an electronic tax payment system back in 2016.
Laos has also recently launched an electronic visa, or e-visa system, for foreign tourists to request an immigration visa online prior to arrival in the country.