Reserves now record US$ 16 bln
Published: 2013-08-13 18:41:07.0 BdST Updated: 2013-08-13 19:25:25.0 BdST
Bangladesh’s forex reserves have reached a record $ 16 billion, spurred by a double-digit growth in exports and low food imports, according to the central bank Governor.
“You can attribute this remarkable feat to a combination of factors,” Governor
Atiur Rahman told bdnews24.com.
“A slump in food imports thanks to high agricultural output, improvement in payment system and a double-digit export growth have all contributed,” he said in exclusive remarks to bdnews24.com.
“This is enough to foot the import bill for five and a half months,” Atiur Rahman, whose four-and-a-half years in charge has seen the reserves treble.
The reserves reached $ 16.03 billion to be precise, only second to India in South Asia.
The figure is $ 6 billion more than Pakistan’s, Atiur Rahman pointed out.
India has reserve of $277 billion, higher than the US, according to Aug 2 data.
Forex Reserve and Treasury Management Division General Manager Kazi Saidur Rahman said buoyant remittance flow and increased export income had helped the reserve reach the new height.
He said July saw a 24 percent increase in export income and 15 percent in remittance flow apart from amount disbursed by the donors.
According to the official, expatriate Bangladeshis had remitted $322.2 million in the first nine days of August while the amount was $1.23 billion in July ahead of the Eid.
He said Bangladesh received a record $14.46 billion in remittance in the previous fiscal which was 12.6 percent higher than the fiscal before. The export income in the 2012-13 fiscal was $27.02 billion, 11.18 percent higher than the year before.
“The non-resident Bangladeshis are increasingly relying on regular banking system to remit money,” Saidur Rahman said.
The informal process – known as hundi – is no longer the preferred choice, leading to a bigger inflow into the central bank coffers, the Governor said.
“We have done quite a bit to improve our payment systems,” Atiur Rahman added.
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