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65pc remittance comes from Middle East
Despite political unrest in the Middle East (ME), Bangladesh received the highest amount of remittances from the ME countries in the just concluded fiscal. Migrant Bangladeshis, especially those living in the ME, sent a record amount of US$ 8.33 billion in last fiscal, representing 65 per cent of the total remittance. The rest of the amount $ 4.51 billion was sent by other countries. Remittance inflow from the non-Middle East countries plunged mainly due to the ongoing economic recession that swept over the developed countries including the USA and the European countries.
Bangladesh received remittances worth about $ 12.84 billion in last fiscal (2011-12) from expatriate Bangladeshis living abroad.
The amount is 10 per cent higher from the amount sent in the previous fiscal. In 2010-11, the country received remittances worth about $ 11.65 billion.
Depreciation of local currency and political unrest in the ME countries are learnt to be the main reasons behind the increased flow of remittances.
Among the ME countries, Bangladesh received the highest amount of remittances from Saudi Arabia followed by the UAE.
Although manpower exports to Saudi Arabia decreased by about 18 per cent in last fiscal, remittances sent from the country creased by about 12 per cent. According to sources, expatriate Bangladeshis living in Saudi Arabia sent as much as $ 3.68 billion in the just concluded fiscal. The amount represents 28.69 per cent of the total remittance Bangladesh received in last fiscal. Last year the amount was $ 3.290 billion.
The country fetched the second highest amount of remittances worth about $ 2.40 billion from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the period which represents 18.72 per cent of the total remittance. The amount was 2.002 billion in the previous year.
The third highest amount of remittance worth about $ 1.496 billion came from the USA. The amount represents 11.67 per cent of the total remittance received in last fiscal. The amount was $ 1.848 billion in the previous year. Remittance inflow from the USA fell by 19 per cent in last fiscal year due to a volatile labour market and sluggish economic activities in the world's largest economy.
Expatriate Bangladeshis living in the USA are sending less money due to uncertainty in the US labour market. Instead of remitting to Bangladesh, they are now saving more to face any further uncertainty.
The fourth highest amount of remittance also came from the Middle Eastern county Kuwait. Expatriate Bangladeshi in Kuwait sent $ 1.190 billion in last fiscal as against $ 1.075 million in the previous fiscal.
Among other ME countries, the growth in remittance inflow from Bahrain was highest at 61 per cent to $ 298 million. From Oman, remittances rose by 20 percent and the amount was $401 million.
Inflows of remittances from Malaysia and Singapore also increased substantially last year. Remittances from Singapore rose by around 54 percent and Malaysia by 21 percent. Official sources said, about 0.3 million workers were regularised in Malaysia recently, which might be a cause of higher remittance inflow from the country. The economic situation in Singapore is also good despite world economic meltdown and Bangladesh's labour export to the country has also increased.
According to sources, the amount of inward remittance had increased in last fiscal as a large number of people went abroad in the year and they sent more money through legal channels as banks opened numerous oversees windows to attract remittance inflow.
Central bank’s effort to encourage expatriates to send money through formal banking channels instead of the illegal ‘hundi’ system also boosted the remittance inflow.
Presently, more than 7 million Bangladeshis are working in different countries of the world. Most of them are employed in the KSA, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Libya, Malaysia, Singapore, Britain and America.
Bangladesh has witnessed a steady growth in remittance inflows over the last three decades, with the expansion of the overseas job markets for its nationals, especially in the ME countries.
[ Business ] 2012-08-10