Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NBC officials optimistic about growing riel usage

NBC officials optimistic about growing riel usage

People sort riel banknotes in Phnom Penh in 2015.
People sort riel banknotes in Phnom Penh in 2015. Vireak Mai

NBC officials optimistic about growing riel usage

The Cambodian riel accounted for about 17 percent of total currency circulation last year, a number similar to previous years, but central bank officials said they remained optimistic that use of the local currency will grow in the future.

Speaking to reporters yesterday at an event in Phnom Penh celebrating the 38th anniversary of the re-introduction of riel as the national currency, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) Director General Chea Serey said that despite the US dollar dominating Cambodia’s currency market, the results of an internal consumer survey pointed to shifting attitudes toward the use of riel.

“I am optimistic that the circulation of Khmer riel will be better thanks to the change of consumer attitude,” she said. “We have observed that our Cambodian people have increased their willingness to use the national currency.”

Serey said that a study conducted by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency in 2014 found that Cambodian youths preferred to use Khmer riel rather than US dollars, and that preference strengthened in a more recently conducted study. Serey attributed that growing preference to the youths' "national pride".

“The priority now is that we need to transform the change of consumers’ attitude to the real practice for better results,” she said.

The central bank has also passed regulations to promote riel usage, including requiring all commercial banks and microfinance institutions to hold at least 10 percent of their loan portfolios in riel by the end of next year.

A previous version of this article misstated the author of a survey on the use of Khmer riel and US dollars in Cambodia. It was conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The article also misstated the results of the survey, which found the majority of Cambodian youths preferred to use Khmer riel rather than US dollars. The Post apologises for any confusion caused.

MOST VIEWED

  • Shanxi wins bid to build sections of new Siem Reap airport

    Shanxi Mechanization Construction Group recently won the bid to build two sections of the new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport project in Cambodia for 290 million yuan ($42.16 million). The existing Angkor International Airport in Siem Reap, 5km from the famous ancient temple complex and world tourism

  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • VIP prison scrapped amid much criticism

    The Ministry of Interior announced on Thursday that Cambodia’s first privately run prison, which was to allow prisoners with enough money to upgrade to more comfortable cells, has been scrapped. Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said studies had found that no other country in the

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half