National Bank Hosted Seminar on Money and Sovereignty

On March 22, 2010, the National Bank of Cambodia hosted a seminar on “Money and Sovereignty.” The seminar addressed the economic, political and monetary history of Cambodia. It celebrated the revival of the Riel, which was reborn in 1979 and started to circulate again on, March 20, 1980. UC representatives attending this very important seminar included Associate Dean Gina Lopez and UC students.

The seminar reviewed the different currencies that have been used during key periods in Cambodia in history. It was noted that the riel was reestablished after 10 years of devastation. Cambodia had essentially gone five years without money circulating in the economy. They also pointed out that a national currency is crucial for the economic development, social welfare, and political independence of any country, small or large, rich or poor.

Once the riel had re-arisen from the ashes of recent history, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) committed a great deal of time to monetary restructuring and macroeconomic stabilization, especially during the period 1990-1997. Central Bank statutes and roles were revamped in depth, in order to make way for a modern market economy. Since 1998, there has been more focus on modernizing, restructuring, and supervising the banking system in order to strengthen public trust in it. The NBC also focused on promoting a broader use of modern monetary instruments, and on steering the economy in a more pro-active manner.

As a result of the NBC’s swift reforms, Cambodia now has a vibrant banking industry, in addition to a strong and continuous “bancarization”of the economy. There is no flight of domestic capital, and the prospects for the implementation of a stock exchange in Cambodia are now better than ever.
They concluded by saying that “political issues are often tainted with financial and monetary considerations. But monetary issues are also technical and political by nature.”

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