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Hitachi to move Myanmar ports from paper to pixels by 2017

Thursday, 17 December 2015 | 10:00

Hitachi Solutions is planning to have an electronic data interchange (EDI) system for Myanmar’s ports up and running by early 2017, Kaichiro Sakuma, the firm’s chief executive officer, said yesterday.

Myanmar’s ports still rely on paper documents to record the passage of ships and the transport of goods, Mr Sakuma said.

Hitachi Solutions plans to replace this antiquated set-up with an electronic data interchange (EDI) system, which involves the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard format.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in collaboration with the Myanmar government, awarded Hitachi the contract to upgrade the system in August.

Hitachi has formed a 10-person team to analyse the first phase of the operation, and is aiming to have the system in place and in use by March 2017, Mr Sakuma said.

The company is still waiting for permission from JICA to proceed, but expects JICA to detail how the funds for the project will be used soon, he added.

An EDI system would cut down on the time it takes ships to apply to enter and leave Myanmar ports, and make invoicing, logistics and terminal management much easier.

The number of ships arriving into Yangon Port has doubled over the past 10 years, the arrival of general goods has more than doubled, and the arrival of containers has increased fourfold over the same period, U Thet Tun, deputy permanent secretary for the Ministry of Transport, said earlier this year.

Myanmar Port Authority intends for port administrators, shipping companies and private firms to all use the EDI system.

The aim is create a national single window — a point where parties can submit all transit-related documentation. This in turn would lay the ground for Myanmar to join the ASEAN single window initiative, which connects national single windows to increase economic integration.

Myanmar aims to join the Asean Economic Community by 2018.
Source: The Myanmar Times

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