27/02/2024 03:52 PM

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday to strengthen cooperation in financial innovation and payments.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet witnessed the exchange of the MoU signed by BNM Governor Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour and NBC Governor Chea Serey.

BNM and NBC in a joint statement noted that the MoU will promote closer cooperation between both central banks to drive financial innovation and foster more efficient and secure cross-border payments for the benefit of individuals and businesses in both countries. 

“This includes the linking of domestic payment systems in both countries to enable cross-border QR payments,” the statement said.

BNM said this cooperation also aims to encourage the use of local currency settlement and support the establishment of a cooperative oversight mechanism for safer cross-border payments.

This MoU marks another milestone in the ASEAN Regional Payment Connectivity initiative and is also aligned with the G20 Roadmap for enhancing the efficiency of cross-border payments, it said.

“This in turn will facilitate cross-border trade and tourism activities between the countries. Up to five million merchants, including small businesses, from both countries that currently accept QR payments are set to benefit from this cooperation,” said BNM.

In a joint press conference, Anwar said the MoU is meaningful as this has been one of the pillars in terms of dealing with the issue and problem with doing trade in the ringgit.

“We have had relative success with China, with 25 per cent of our total trade in our local currency, with Thailand it’s at 18 per cent and Indonesia 20 per cent. 

"With Cambodia, I think using the local currency (ringgit) would of course lessen the burden and the pressure of having to be tied only to the US dollar,” Anwar said.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rasheed said this collaboration will deepen BNM’s long-standing cooperation with NBC for the mutual benefit of individuals and businesses in both countries. 

“It also provides the impetus to spur greater innovation and deeper financial integration in support of regional economic development,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

Chea Serey said the MoU signing marked a significant step towards enhancing cooperation between both central banks. 

“Through the MoU, the NBC and BNM will collaborate to drive financial innovation and improve cross-border QR code payment systems aiming to boost trade activities and financial inclusion in both countries and to promote the use of local currencies in line with ASEAN objectives," she said.

The MoU was signed in conjunction with Hun Manet’s maiden visit to Malaysia. He was appointed as Cambodian Prime Minister in August 2023 to replace his father Hun Sen.



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