Bangladesh’s forex reserves surge past 20 bln USD with loans from global lenders

Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserves hit an all-time high of 48 billion dollars in August 2021. However, it has been depleting fast since the beginning of the year 2022 due to international turmoil.

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People visit a tourism fair on the occasion of World Tourism Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Sept. 27, 2023. (Xinhua)

Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves have reached over 20 billion U.S. dollars after loans from two global lenders were credited to the central bank’s account, halting the long-time decline.

Md Mezbaul Haque, Bangladesh Bank (BB) executive director and spokesperson, told journalists on Sunday that 689 million dollars came from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and 400 million dollars from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Before the 1.09 billion dollars in loans from the global lenders were added to the central bank account, he said the country’s forex reserves reached 19.17 billion dollars on Thursday.

Reserves continued to fall in the wake of a significant rise in import costs globally and lower-than-expected levels of earnings from remittance and export receivables.

Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves hit an all-time high of 48 billion dollars in August 2021. However, it has been depleting fast since the beginning of the year 2022 due to international turmoil.

In a bid to boost shrinking forex reserves, the central bank has taken various measures since last year and has turned to alternative currency arrangements including the use of the Chinese yuan in international transactions.

With the existing reserves, however, BB officials said Bangladesh is in a position to pay some four months of import bills.

For a growing economy like Bangladesh, forex reserves equivalent to six months’ import bills are considered adequate. 

Xinhua News Agency

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