Encouraging the use of riel will help contribute to Cambodia’s economic growth despite low usage rates in the Kingdom’s economy, according to National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) deputy governor Neav Chanthana.
According to a joint survey by NBC and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), the ratio of Cambodian riel in the income and expenditure of households and enterprises increased slightly between 2014 and 2017.
Chanthana, during a ceremony marking the 39th anniversary of the reintroduction of the riel on Monday, said the currency was reintroduced at a time when the Kingdom faced a lack of human resources and financial instruments, resulting in the currency not being fully functioning.
“The use of the riel promotes investment and creates jobs,” she said. “The use of riel will help our country obtain more revenue from issuing the currency.”
She said it will allow NBC to increase Cambodia’s foreign exchange reserves and increase investor confidence.
“The government can also develop a market skeleton in riel to provide financial support for infrastructure development and reduce foreign debt by mobilising capital in local currency,” she said.
Kea Borann – AMK Microfinance Institution Plc CEO and a chairman of the Cambodia Microfinance Association – was in attendance at Monday’s event, where he said Cambodians play an important role in realising NBC’s plan.
“To increase the use of riel, Cambodians and all business owners need to join together. If not, banks’ and microfinance institutions’ efforts alone will not accomplish NBC’s goal,” he said, adding that AMK’s usage rate of the riel is up to 70 per cent.
In Channy, president and group managing director at Cambodian bank Acleda, told The Post last week that it is important for Cambodia to have its own currency.
“It is about sovereignty – we will have our own currency and it is a source of national pride as well,” he said.