With the country looking to shore up its foreign currency reserves to pay growing import bills, Bangladeshi expatriates living in different countries remitted US$813 million in the first 10 days of August in a welcome respite for the economy, registering a 20 percent year-on-year growth.
Non-resident Bangladeshis sent home $675 million in the corresponding period last year, according to the latest data of Bangladesh Bank (BB).
The country has fetched $2,910 million in remittance in the first 40 days of the current financial year till August 10, showing a rise by 14.3 percent year on year.
During the period, the central bank sold $1,725 million.
Bangladesh Bank sold $122 million on Thursday for payment of imports by Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) for liquefied natural gas and fertiliser.
Businessmen spent $1.61 billion for opening letters of credit (LCs) for import payments in the first 11 days of August against $2.55 billion in the corresponding period of July and $2.33 billion in June this year.
Economists have hailed the growth in remittance inflow as a welcome respite for Bangladesh, which needs to increase the supply of dollars amid concerns over the endorsement of the greenback at a higher price.
“The exchange platforms control the global money market. There’s little chance to control the price of money. The remittance inflow gets a momentum due to lofty price of US dollar. Banks are confined to the cycle of money exchanges in terms of global transaction,” Mansur, also chairman of Brac Bank, told the Daily Sun. The economists suggested setting up specialised service centres for expatriate Bangladeshis to increase the remittance inflow from potential regions like Middle East, Malaysia and Europe further.
Another economist, Policy Exchange of Bangladesh Chairman Dr M Masrur Reaz, has attributed the increase in remittance to the simplification of remittance transfer system and devaluation of taka slightly reducing difference with the informal market.
“The growth is a welcome respite given Bangladesh desperately needs to increase the supply of dollars and remittance is one of the top two sources together with exports. The rising trend is also a welcome sign after a fall in the last fiscal year,” he told the Daily Sun.