The finance ministry’s Cambodia Data Exchange (CamDX) platform has been honoured as the 2022 Open Source Adaptation of the Year by the Future of Government Awards, which is a collaborative effort between Amazon Web Services (AWS), the UN Development Program (UNDP), and Apolitical.

Launched on June 15, 2020 and based on the model of Estonia’s X-Road, the CamDX system is a decentralised but unified data-exchange layer between information systems that provides a standardised and secure way to produce and consume services, according to its website.

The more than two-year-old platform on November 24 won Cambodia the award for the first time, the Ministry of Economy and Finance stressed in a statement issued on December 5, which was 11 days later.

The statement said the awards encourage government digital transformation, including open source adaptation in technology-oriented systems, towards the transparent and effective provision of public services; livelihood and quality of life improvements; and other societal benefits.

“Cambodia’s CamDX platform was among 10 shortlisted entries, from eight countries, namely Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Pakistan, Guinea-Bissau, Argentina, the Philippines and the Republic of Benin,” the ministry said.

“The entries were examined by panel of 17 judges from different countries, with many years of experience in government and technology.

“Winning in the face of the rigorous assessment is a great source of pride for Cambodia, especially on its journey to embrace digital technology, as a priority on the national development agenda, through the introduction of the Cambodia Digital Economy and Society Policy Framework 2021-2035 and the Cambodia Digital Government Policy 2022-2035,” it added.

The statement said the CamDX platform, which was developed and launched by the Techo Startup Center (TSC) under the ministry, has built a “vibrant” ecosystem that encompasses IT systems of participating institutions and government agencies, and enables data exchanges between them, while allowing each body to retain full ownership of its respective systems and exchanged data.

Without elaborating, it noted that private sector actors have recently been brought aboard as partners.

Speaking to The Post on December 6, Cambodia Digital Tech Association (CDTA) president Chhin Ken hailed CamDX’s victory as a “great honour” for Cambodia, saying that the platform has made major contribution to the Kingdom’s integration into all manner of global networks.

CamDX is also helping propel the Cambodian economy into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, amid a rapid acceleration in technological adoption in the Kingdom, he said, adding that the platform has made a range of public-private matters significantly easier, faster and more transparent.

“This award is a source of pride for Cambodia, which it can use to show the world the advances it has made towards improving and increasing the adoption of digital systems,” Ken said, adding that prior to CamDX, looking up business data, paying taxes and a host of other tasks required face-to-face interaction.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on December 5 congratulated the finance ministries and other relevant institutions for the CamDX platform’s coronation as 2022’s Open Source Adaptation of the Year, which he noted was among 150 entries from 52 countries and territories.

“This award is a new source of pride for Cambodia on the international stage and recognition that the Kingdom has seized the opportunity and successfully used digital technologies, especially the CamDX platform, to assist in administrative reforms and modernisation,” the premier said in a statement posted on his official Facebook page.

“Under the auspices of peace, Cambodia has not only had the opportunity to build a lot of physical infrastructure, but also move towards a more vibrant and inclusive digital economy and society.

“In this regard, I urge all government ministries and institutions to encourage the private sector to join in and maximise the benefits of the CamDX platform and related technologies,” he added.

The finance ministry’s statement shared that, as of November 29, the CamDX platform has handled 13.06 million operations since its launch, compared to the 4.76 million registered in the first year alone.