Foreign exchange reserves have crossed $39 billion for the first time, an official of Bangladesh Bank says.
The reserves recorded at $39.4 billion on Tuesday are equivalent to about 10 months of import payments with $4 billion a month.
An increase in inward remittances and exports topped with $300 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency boosted the reserves to a new high, said Kazi Rafiqul Hassan, general manager of Forex Reserve and Treasury Management Department at Bangladesh Bank.
The coronavirus pandemic has left inward remittances largely unscathed. Expatriates remitted $1.72 billion in 27 days of August, according to the central bank, compared to $1.4 billion in the full month of August a year earlier. The total remittance in July was $2.6 billion, a monthly record.
Bangladesh’s exports rose 0.59 percent year-on-year to $3.91 billion in July. The amount was 13.4 percent higher than the target. Through this, Bangladesh’s exports reversed a decline of seven months.
After the coronavirus pandemic hit the country in March, export income dropped to $520 million in April, which was less than the remittance sent by the migrant workers in the same month.
Export earnings increased in May to $1.46 billion after the lockdown was lifted and factories began to roll, but growth lost pace.
In June, the last month of fiscal 2019-20, the export earnings rose to $2.71 billion.
Exports in the first month of the current fiscal year — July — was more than in any other month of the last fiscal year.
More than 10 million expatriates working across the globe remit funds home to Bangladesh playing a major role in the economy. Remittances account for 12 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
The remittance inflow was disrupted after the coronavirus pandemic upended the world, but it shot up again in April.