A pilot test of Port EDI, an electronic data exchange system, has been launched to navigate large-scale inbound and outbound traffic control at the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.
Port EDI, developed using a grant by Japan via Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will see navigational control switching from manual to online.
The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has been pushing for an electronic data exchange system at the ports by preparing a draft sub-decree on Port EDI to enable the legal implementation of the system.
At the inauguration of the system’s pilot test on August 17, ministry deputy director-general for waterway-maritime transport and ports Tat Sun Huot said the system was necessary due to the increase of export volume and goods shipment every year in the last 10 years.
“The use of the Port EDI system requires responsibility for ensuring the operation of the system and documentation related to cooperation with banking and financial institutions to collect revenue from the payment of public fees,” Sun Huot added.
Also at the inauguration ceremony, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said that Japan has played an important role, providing concessions and grants to build Cambodia’s infrastructure system.
The test launch makes it easier for the private sector to reduce the complexity and time for ships entering and leaving Cambodia.
“We hope Japan will continue to support Cambodia so that we can reach our goal of becoming a high-income country by 2050. The Port EDI system is very important, as it will provide transparency, efficiency and significantly reduce costs because both payments and expenses must also be done online,” he said.
At the same event, Japanese ambassador Masahiro Mikami said that the economy has been growing steadily, but to support this growth and further development, the effective expansion of the flow of goods and the people are essential.
“For Cambodia, the functional expansion of the Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh ports, as well as enhancing their international competitiveness, are increasingly necessary to aid a smooth economic recovery after Covid-19,” he said.
According to minister Chanthol, through JICA, Tokyo’s overseas development arm, the ministry is working to complete the logistics master plan, which requires a capital investment of about $50 billion to fund over 300 projects.
This would likely make Cambodia’s logistics system cheaper and more productive, while being attractive to investors, which could lead to job creation, he said.