After a 15 percent year-on-year rise in remittance inflow in 2018, the positive trend of money sent by the Bangladesh expatriates working abroad has continued into the new year.
The amount of remittance received by Bangladesh crossed the $1 billion mark in the first 18 days of January.
It was at $1.7 billion on Jan 18, giving a boost to the central bank’s foreign currency reserves as well, according to latest figures released by the Bangladesh Bank.
Even after paying the Asian Clearing Union or ACU bills of around $1.15 billion for imports in the November-December period on Jan 8, the reserves was more than $31 billion on Sunday.
Money sent by more than 10 million non-resident Bangladeshis makes up about 12 percent of Bangladesh’s GDP.
In November and December last year, the country received $1.18 billion and over $1.2 billion, respectively, in remittance.
The depreciation of taka against the greenback and the central bank’s measures to strengthen its surveillance on hundi played a major role in encouraging migrants to send home more remittance in the last year, analysts say.
Policy Research Institute Executive Director Ahsan H Mansur suggested keeping dollar rate constant against taka at 85 to boost remittance inflows and exports.
Many countries like India, China and Vietnam devalued their currencies against US dollar recently to remain competitive.
In the last six months, the dollar’s value appreciated more than 7 percent against Indian currency and 18 percent against taka, according to Mansur.