Phnom Penh (FN), April 8 – As a peace contributor and civilization connector, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia does not want to see other countries dominated by excessive USD currency as much as Cambodia was in the past.
The statement was made Monday at the inauguration of the first-ever national monetary museum, “Preah Srey Icanavarman Museum” standing near the Old Market in Phnom Penh, not too far from the National Bank of Cambodia.
In terms of peace contribution, Cambodia has dispatched more than 5,000 troops under the framework of the United Nations. Today, the kingdom has 810 troops conducting missions in four countries, including South Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic, and Lebanon.
“Cambodia is ready to participate in peacekeeping missions, not just the four countries. However, I do not want to see those peacekeepers receiving states to be flooded with dollars like Cambodia had. So far, it has more than two decades that USD continues to circulate in our kingdom,” the Premier stated.
Prime Minister recommended other hosts of peacekeeping missions to prevent dollarization, saying Cambodia always exchanges the currency for its peacekeepers before sending them to mission.
According to the Strongman, UNTAC brought in about USD 2 billion during its mission in Cambodia during early 1990s. UNTAC failed to exchange USD to Khmer Riel for transactions back then.
There were already some amounts of USD circulating in Cambodia during the period of the Khmer Republic (1970-1975). However, the Riel remained the currency used normally in domestic transactions. The first shock occurred from 1975 to 1979. All financial infrastructures in Cambodia, including markets, trade, money, and banking, were systematically destroyed. There was no place for a financial system under the Khmer Rouge. Immediately after they conquered the capital city, the National Bank of Cambodia’s headquarters was bombed to the ground, according to “Dollarization in Cambodia” by Tal Nay Im and Michel Dabadie.
After the end of the Pol Pot regime, in 1979, commercial transactions were conducted mainly in the form of barter, or using rice and gold and later Vietnamese dong. In 1980, the Central Bank was re-established, under the name of the People’s Bank of Kampuchea and the Riel was again the country’s legal currency, the above source added.