Bangladesh’s inward remittance has hit a record $24.59 billion in 2020-21 fiscal year, taking the country’s total forex reserve to a new high of $46.82 billion despite the corona pandemic.
The country never registered a remittance inflow of over $20 billion in a single year, according to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data.Monthly remittance inflows in FY 21 were higher than all correspondent months in FY20.
Experts see this as an economic strength, which has allowed the country to become an international lender for the first time.
On June 1, Bangladesh’s forex reserve crossed the $45-billion mark, a whopping increase from $32 billion in March 2020.
Inward remittances stood at $1.75 billion in the first 28 days of June this year.
Former BB governor Dr. Saleh Uddin Ahmed said forex reserve shows the economic strength of a country and Bangladesh has seen steady growth in forex reserve thanks to remittance and lower import demand.
He also suggested fixing a smart policy for utilizing the forex reserves and lending money in priority-based public sector projects.Economist Dr Zaid Bakht said forex reserve is steadily rising due to a jump in remittance and exports, as well as a slowdown in imports and an increase in foreign aid.
Dr Zaid Bakht, also the chairman of Agrani Bank, said “Steady growth of foreign currency reserve improved Bangladesh’s image in the global arena, now we emerged as money lender country.” He said with the current reserves, it is possible to cover the import cost of more than 11 months at the rate of four billion dollars per month.
In June this year, Bangladeshi expatriates have sent home $1.75 billion, up from $1.55 billion in June 2020.
The expatriates sent remittances worth $2.17 billion in May, $2.06 billion in April, $1.910 billion in March, $1.78 billion in February, $1.96 billion in January, $2.05 bn in December, $2.8 bn in November, $ 2.1 bn in October, $2.15 bn in September, $1.96 bn in August and $2.59 billion in July of FY21.
In the FY20, the expatriates sent remittances of $1.83 bn in June, $1.50 bn in May, $1.09 bn in April, $1.27 in March, $1.45 bn in February, $1.63 bn in January, $1.69 bn in December, $1.55 bn in November, $1.64 bn in October, $1.47 bn in September, $1.44 bn in August and $1.59 bn in July.
More than 10 million Bangladesh expatriates are working in different countries and sending hard-earned remittances to their families in the country. The contribution of remittance to the country's GDP is about 12 per cent.