October 17, 2017
The JICA Research Institute (JICA-RI) has been conducting the research project "Empirical Study on the Promotion of Home Currency in Cambodia" jointly with the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC). The aim of the study is to identify how much foreign currency is used in Cambodia's economy quantitatively. In this project, households and enterprises in all of 25 provinces of Cambodia are interviewed to gather information on the usage of foreign currency in their activities.
Following on from the first survey carried out from October 2014 to January 2015, the second survey started in July 2017 and will continue until November 2017. Ken Odajima (Executive Senior Research Fellow, JICA-RI), Daiju Aiba (Research Fellow, JICA-RI), and Hidenobu Okuda (Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University) visited Cambodia and participated in the interviews with both households and enterprises in September 2017.
During their visit, the interviews were conducted in Battambang Province and Pailin Province, located in northwestern Cambodia, near the country's border with Thailand. Battambang is the second largest province in terms of economic activities, following the capital city Phnom Penh. Because there is a large amount of business with Thailand in both provinces, it is expected that local people in these areas are using foreign currency.
Odajima and the other team members accompanied local investigators and participated in interviews with rice millers, construction material wholesalers and other corporate management and households. They monitored the interview process and the process of sample selection of households and enterprises. Aside from questions on the use of foreign currency, they asked a variety of questions to understand regional economic activities in each area and the production activities of each enterprise. They observed that the U.S. dollar and the Thai baht were both used in both provinces for income, expenditures, and savings.
The results of this survey will be disseminated to major stakeholders, like the previous survey. Descriptions of the previous seminar and the report of the first survey results are available in related articles and the website of the National Bank of Cambodia. In addition, several survey results presented at the seminar have also been published in "Hitotsubashi Economics," a university bulletin from the Department of Economics in Hitotsubashi University.
Another important aim of this research project is to enhance NBC’s research capabilities. For this reason, NBC staff also participated in and monitored the interviews with JICA-RI researchers. It is expected that this project helps NBC staff learn the skills necessary to conduct field surveys, and also helps NBC form future policies to promote local currency usage.