The country’s import volume has soared 9.7 per cent year-on-year to $4.82 billion in November last year, showing a sign of recovery in financial activities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Economist and executive director of Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI) Ahsan H. Mansur sees the rise in imports as a good sign for the country’s economy, explaining that a rise in imports means increasing investment and impetus to the economy as a whole.“Bangladesh’s economy will soon start to see growth again if this trend continues over the next few months,” he said.
Bangladesh imported goods and capital machinery worth $5.33 billion in January, $4.72 billion in February and $4.28 billion in March 2020.
After the coronavirus pandemic hit Bangladesh in the third week of March, the government declared a lockdown to control the outbreak of the deadly virus, causing a steep fall in exports-imports as economic activities came to a complete halt due to the global outbreak of Covid-19.
Following the shutdown of factories, shopping malls and usual traffic in April, Bangladesh’s import demand fall to $2.86 billion, the lowest the country has seen in many years.
Import demand begun to rise from May and June. Imports stood at $$3.53 billion and $4.8 billion in May and June respectively.
Bangladesh’s imports stood at $4.22 billion July, $3.8 billion in August, $4.65 billion in September and $4.35 billion in October last year.According to Bangladesh Bank data, Bangladesh imported goods and machinery worth $54.7 billion in the immediate past FY 2019-20, which was 7.56 per cent lower than in FY 2018-19.
“Imports plunged due to Covid-19 pandemic. Imports of all kinds of products including capital machinery, industrial raw materials and fuel oil have declined. Now everything has started to grow again,” said Dr MA Razzaque, a trade specialist and research director of Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI).