Bangladesh’s imports grew by 20 per cent to $65.59 billion in the immediate past 2020-21 fiscal despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) data shows that the country’s import payments for goods stood at $65.59 billion in the immediate past fiscal year in terms of Cost and Freight (C. &. F) Value, registering around 20 per cent growth over the previous fiscal.
Robust growth in imports indicates a surge in external demand as well as the revival of the economic activities thanks to a series of fiscal and monetary stimulus packages, experts said.
"The import-payment obligations increased significantly in the outgoing fiscal year because of lesser impact on the Covid-19 pandemic compared to the previous year," a senior official of BB said while explaining the latest situation on import payments.
The import payments did not increase significantly in FY 21 compared with the pre-Covid-19 fiscal year (FY19), he said.
In FY19, Bangladesh paid $55.44 billion to settle the import-payment obligations.
On the other hand, export earnings stood at $37.88 billion in FY 21, up from $32.83 billion in the previous fiscal.
He said overall export earnings will increase in FY 22 for the opening up of some major markets like EU and USA after massive vaccination.
“Upward trend in food and fuel-oil prices on the global market may push up the overall import payments in FY 22,” he added.
Bangladesh's current account deficit may improve further by the end of FY 22 while the surplus in the overall balance of payments (BoP) is expected to fall slightly, Moazzem said.
Bangladesh’s current account deficit improved slightly in FY 21 due to growth in remittance inflow despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that left many furloughed on the labour market, he added.