Surging inbound remittances and enhanced aid from development partners contributed to the rise in forex reserves
The country’s foreign exchange reserves have hit a new height, setting a record of over $38 billion amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Foreign exchange reserves reached $38.15 billion for the first time on Tuesday, said a high official of the Bangladesh Bank.
Remittance inflow has played a vital role behind the surge in foreign exchange reserves, said the official, adding that the government’s initiative of issuing a 2% cash incentive against inward remittances had also played a vital role.
The reserves reached the $37.1 billion in July while it hit the $34 billion, $35 billion, and $36 billion marks in June.
The previous highest reserves were recorded on September 5, 2017, the amount being $33.68 billion.
In FY20, remittance earnings hit a record $18.21 billion, up by 10.88% or $1.79 billion from $16.52 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Bangladesh received a record $2.6 billion in remittances in July amid the pandemic. Bangladeshi expatriates sent back $2.6 billion in inward remittances in the first month of the new fiscal year, which was a new monthly record.
The surging inbound remittances and enhanced aid from development partners contributed to the rise in forex reserves to $38.15 billion on August 18.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Policy Research Institute Executive Director Ahsan H Mansur said: “The amount of money the Bangladeshi expatriates have sent during this pandemic was not their recent income.”
“The reason they sent such a huge sum of remittances was out of their fear that they might have to return home in the near future as many working in the Middle Eastern countries have lost their jobs due to a significant decline in oil prices.”
“A good number of migrant workers will lose their jobs and return to Bangladesh from different countries owing to the worldwide crisis created by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.