Riel Usage Up, Skepticism Remains

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Use of the local currency, the Riel, has surged in the first half of the year, as shown by a biannual report recently released by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC).

The NBC injected about 2 trillion riel in cash notes—or about $489 million—into the national economy during the first six months of 2016, amounting to an 18 percent rise from the same period last year.

The surge was led by increased use of riel in paying taxes, wages and goods and services, as well as its use in banking, particularly in microfinance, said Chea Serey, the director of the NBC.

The government has been enacting policies that promote the use of the riel, such as encouraging business to pay taxes in the local currency. However, many experts remain skeptical of the country’s capability to drop the American currency and foresee negative consequences to the economy if Cambodia successfully manages to de-dollarise its economy.

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