Bangladesh’s foreign currency reserves have crossed $40 billion for the first time, thanks to a steady flow of inward remittances despite the coronavirus pandemic.The reserves at the Bangladesh Bank stood at $40.1 billion on Thursday.
Speaking to bdnews24.com in the evening, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal credited the milestone to remittances sent by migrant workers.
The reserves are sufficient to pay more than 10 months of import bills. Kamal said an increase in export earnings and a drop in imports also made it possible for the reserves to cross the mark.
Bangladeshi expatriates clocked a new record in remittance by sending over $6.71 billion in the July-September period in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The amount is 48.57 percent more than the money received in the same period last year. In September alone, the expatriates remitted more than $2.15 billion, the second highest in a month after $2.6 billion in July.
The foreign currency reserves crossed the $39 billion on Sept 1. The reserves slid below the mark after payment of import bills for July-August period through the Asian Clearing Union.
Central bank officials said the reserves are expected to be over $40 billion until the next payments to ACU in the first week of November. The finance minister hopes the reserves will cross $42 billion by December, and $50 billion by 2021.