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NBC’s currency museum to launch in January

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
A coffee vendor counts riel banknotes and US dollars near the Royal Palace. Reuters

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) will open a museum on finance and monetary matters in January 2018, a representative of the central bank has announced.

Dubbed Preah Sri Eysan Voraman Economic and Monetary museum, or SOSORO, the new facility, which will be located near the Central Market, aims to collect and showcase information about the evolution of the financial and banking systems in the kingdom, as well as documenting the role of the NBC and the national currency, the riel, throughout the nation’s history.

Chea Serey, the NBC’s general director, told Khmer Times that a range of Cambodian currencies – from ancient ones used during the Angkor Empire to more modern ones – will be on display at the new centre.

However, Ms Serey stressed that this will not be the main focus of the facility.

“This museum will help the young generations understand the importance of our national currency and strengthen their knowledge of the economic system,” Ms Serey said.

“The goal is to explain the economic and monetary history of the country, from regime to regime, from a financial perspective,” she added.

Ms Serey said the new museum will help raise the number of tourists visiting the capital, as many will want to learn about Cambodia from an economic and monetary perspective as a way to complement what they learn by visiting the Angkor complex in Siem Reap.

She explained that one of the factors that contributed to the fall in the dominance the Angkor empire exerted in the region was the lack of a national currency.

Ms Serey said a final decision still needs to be made regarding the entrance fee to SOSORO. According to the director of the central bank, guides are now being trained to staff the museum and service visitors.

Lim Heng, the vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), welcomed the launch.

“This is the first of its kind in Cambodia. It’s good to have these types of attractions as it will help increase the number of tourists,” Mr Heng said.

In a bid to promote the national currency, financial management will be included in the national curriculum starting in 2018 through an initiative known as the Cambodian School Curriculum Project.

The inclusion of financial literacy as a school subject was in the government’s Financial Development Strategy 2016-2025.

“Young people today face more challenging financial choices given the rapid socioeconomic transformation that the country is undergoing. They need the skills, training and tools to make the right decisions affecting their financial well-being, and also that of their families,” Ms Serey said.

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