The foreign exchange reserve crossed the $ 13 billion-mark for the first time on Monday, thanks to a robust growth of inward remittance as well as decreasing import payment.
The reserve rose to $13.04 billion on the day — the first week this year– setting a new record, according to the central bank statistics.
Kazi Sayedur Rahman, General Manager of the Forex Reserve and Treasury Management Department of Bangladesh Bank, told bdnews24.com that strong inflow of remittance, pledged foreign assistance, increase in export earnings and declining import trend played an important role to help fuel the reserve.
Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserves rose to $9.63 billion at the end of December 2011, which grew 32 percent to $12.75 billion by the end of December 2012.
In the year gone by, expatriate Bangladeshis set a new annual record for remittance, sending home a staggering $14.2 billion.
The remittances increased by about $2 billion within a gap of one year and the figure represented a 16.3 percent increase over 2011.
According to the central bank, the remittance sent by the non-resident Bangladeshis was $12.11 billion in 2011.
The central bank officials said that the foreign exchange reserve crossed the $12 billion mark for the first time on Oct 18 last year. Though the reserve had dipped in the first week of November after Bangladesh made two months' import payments to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), the reserve surpassed the mark again on Dec 10.
Officials said that the current dollar reserve will be enough to offset the import costs for the next five months.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the export earnings increased by 4.36 percent in the July-November period from the same time last year.
Concurrently, import costs dropped by 6.75 percent in the July-October period which was 23.13 percent at the same time last fiscal.
Also, according to the Economic Relations Department (ERD) latest data, net foreign aid galloped by two times in the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal.