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What is the Cambodian riel (KHR)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

In the latest credit ratings from December 1970, Moody's gives Cambodia a B2 rating, with a stable outlook. Finally, S&P last issued a B rating, with a stable outlook.

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

GDP

In 2010 the total GDP was $11,242,266,333 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $795. It grew by 5.96% over the previous year.

Unemployment

The latest unemployment rate for 2008 is 1.70%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 147.58.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is Prime Minister Hun Sen, and the head of state is King Norodom Sihamoni (in a ceremonial role).

Currency Details

The Cambodian riel, denoted by KHR, is the official currency of Cambodia. Divided into 100 sen, the Cambodian riel is mainly used for buying local produce and other merchandise. Cambodian riels above 20,000 are very rare due to the low prices in Cambodia. The United States Dollar (USD) is known as Cambodia’s unofficial second currency. The USD is used widely throughout Cambodia for all purposes and sometimes preferred over the riel. The exchange rate for the Cambodian riel is about 4,000 riels to 1 US Dollar.

Sovereign Ratings for Cambodia

Cambodia is not rated.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

Cambodia is a multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy established in September 1993. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches all make up the government in Cambodia.

The executive branch consists of a monarch, Prime Minister, two deputy prime ministers and a cabinet. As elections do not take place in Cambodia, the monarch is chosen by a Royal Throne Council. The monarch then, with the help of the Chairman of the National Assembly, appoints the prime minister. The cabinet (which also known as the Council of Ministers) is appointed by the monarch and prime minister.

The legislative branch is bicameral, consisting of a National Assembly and a Senate. The National Assembly has 123 members, each of whom serves a five-year term and is elected by popular vote. The Senate holds 61 members, who serve five-year terms.

The judicial branch consists of a Supreme Council of the Magistracy and a Supreme Court.

  • Prominent Figures Monarch: King Norodom Sihanouk (reinstated September 24, 1993)
  • Prime Minister: Hun Sen (since November 30, 1998)
  • Deputy Prime Ministers: Sar Kheng (since 1993) and Tol Lah (since 1998)
  • Central Bank: National Bank of Cambodia
  • Chairman Governor: H.E. Chea Chanto (since 1996)

Key Economic Factors

  • Overview: Cambodia’s economy over the last decade is largely characterized by its economic slowdown in 1997 and 1998, which was in response to a regional economic crisis, civil violence, and political infighting (which, in turn, caused foreign investment
    and tourism to decrease). Despite this great slowdown, however, the country was able to make great progress on economic reforms in 1999 – the first full year of peace in 30 years. At the turn of the century, from 2000 to 2005, economic growth resumed and held a steady rate of 5%. Economic growth in Cambodia has been largely driven by expansion in the garment and tourism sectors. As for the economy’s long-term vision, development remains a challenge after decades of war in Cambodia; the population lacks education and working skills, particularly in the countryside, which is jam-packed with poverty and largely lacks infrastructure. A grand 75% of the population remains engaged in subsistence farming. The major economic challenge for Cambodia over the next decade will be fashioning an economic environment in which the private sector can create enough jobs to handle Cambodia’s demographic imbalance (more than half of the population is less than 20 years of age). The Cambodian government continues to work with bilateral and multilateral donors to address the country’s many pressing needs.
  • Key Industries: Tourism, garments, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, and textiles.
  • Agricultural Products: Rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, and tapioca.
  • Imports: Petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, and pharmaceutical products.
  • Exports: Clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco and footwear.
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