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Remittance from US, EU rises, drops from Middle East

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 22 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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Remittance from US, EU rises, drops from Middle East

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Remittance inflow from Middle Eastern countries continues to drop over the last four months with remittance flow from the US and Europe rising during the period.

In the first four months (July-October) of the current FY 2021-22, Bangladeshi expatriates sent home a total of around $7.05 billion in remittance.

Of the total amount, 54.42 per cent or $3.84 billion came from Middle Eastern countries with the rest 45.56 per cent or $3.21 billion coming from the US and Europe.

According to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment data, 12 million Bangladeshis are currently living and working in different countries.

Middle East has long been the largest labour market for Bangladeshi expatriates. Data show that remittance from these Gulf countries has declined between July and October this year. 

In the first four months of the current fiscal year, remittances from the Middle East stood at $1.04 billion in July, $1.01 billion in August, $919 million in September and $862 million in October.

According to a report by the central bank, the lion’s share of the country’s remittances comes from 10 countries including Saudi Arabia, the United States, United Kingdom, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Malaysia, Oman, Italy and Bahrain.

The highest 2.2 million Bangladeshi migrants work in Saudi Arabia.  According to the data, most remittances have come from Saudi Arabia in the last four months. Bangladeshi expatriates Saudi Arabia have sent $1.70 billion, which is 24 per cent of the total remittances drawn, in the last four months.

Remittances from Saudi Arabia stood at $460 million in July, $430 million in August, $ 400 million in September and $390 million in October.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been the second-largest remittance generator for Bangladesh after Saudi Arabia. However, the US became the second-largest remittance generator last fiscal year and maintained it this year as well amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sector experts say that after the lifting of the pandemic ban, money transactions on illegal channels, i.e. hundi, have increased. In addition, there was less new recruitment compared to the rate of job loss of the expatriates.

Due to these reasons, the income of expatriates has decreased from Middle Eastern countries, they observed.

On the other hand, remitting money from the United States has become easier than ever before. In addition, incentives are being offered legally.

Besides, the expatriates are sending more money than before considering the plight of their relatives in the country caused by the pandemic.

In the first four months of the current fiscal year, expatriates from the US sent a total of $1.15 billion. Remittance inflow from the UAE dropped to $568 million.

The amount of remittances sent by UAE expatriates has dropped not only compared to the amount sent by the United States expatriates but also compared to the United Kingdom. During July-October, remittance from the United Kingdom reached $595 million.

During the period, Bangladeshi expatriates sent $573 million from Kuwait, $463 million from Qatar, $372 million from Malaysia, $356 million from Oman, $342 million from Italy and $176 million from Bahrain.