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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2008
Business

Remittance close to record $8b

Remittance grew 33 per cent last fiscal year taking the total amount to nearly $8 billion, according to Bangladesh Bank sources.

Bankers think rising overseas employment and the extra money sent by expatriates to their relatives home to cope with soaring prices of essentials helped remittance reach a record mark.

A total of $7.94 billion was remitted to the country in the fiscal year 2007-08, which was $5.98 billion the previous fiscal.

The central bank statistics of 10-year period revealed that the remittance growth was steady at 24 per cent in both 2005-06 and 2006-07 fiscal years.

The country, however, saw a less growth in remittance only in 2000-01 fiscal when it reached $1.88 billion. It was $1.94 billion the previous fiscal. The records show growth ranges from 15 per cent to 24 per cent over the years but the fiscal year 2007-08 saw a robust growth.

The foreign exchange reserve reached $6.2 billion yesterday due to the strong remittance growth.

Chairman of Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Khandaker Ibrahim Khaled said a considerable number of Bangladeshis went to different countries by their own initiatives, which helped increase the volume of remittance.

Echoing his view, Managing Director of Agrani Bank Syed Abu Naser Bakhtiar said every bank launched special drives to increase its market share following the flow of remittance.

"We have sent our staff from Dhaka office to the countries from where remittance is coming so that the expatriates use our bank to send their money home," he told The Daily Star yesterday.

An official at the Sonali Bank said expatriates across the world sent more money in the fiscal year 2007-08 than that of the previous years so that their families in Bangladesh could afford the rising prices of essentials.

According to the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, a total of 377,894 Bangladeshis left for various countries in the first five months of the current year. The number was 265,827 during the same period of 2007.

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