Economic & Finance

Remittance inflows surge in second half of December: Positive for economy

Remittance inflows surge in India

A recent increase in remittance inflows, touching $1.07 billion during December 1-15, 2023, underlines a significant support for our foreign exchange reserves. This significant increase not only indicates a promising growth but also reveals a resilient pattern in remittance flows. As Bangladesh navigates through economic transitions and global challenges, the robustness shown remittance inflows serves as a beacon of hope, promising resilience and prosperity in the times ahead.

The information provided by the Balance of Payments (BOP) Department and Statistics Department is not just a numerical update; It is a narrative of economic vitality and sustainable growth. The data from December 1 to December 15 allow a comprehensive analysis of trends and a deeper understanding of their significance, especially when compared to the earlier days of the month.

Economic resilience is a fascinating story in attracting remittances from various financial institutions. State-owned commercial banks have shown a significant positive sign, exemplified by institutions such as Janata Bank, which have significantly boosted cumulative remittances. Meanwhile financial institutions have contributed significantly to this growth, exhibiting a commendable growth trajectory.

The dynamic is particularly noticeable in the private commercial banking sector. Remittances increased from $461.88 million to $921.69 million during December 1-15 indicating a strong financial landscape. Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited’s continued leading position, contributing $387.93 million, reinforces the significant role of banks in this growth narrative.

Note that Bangladesh received 21.6 billion dollars in remittances in the last financial year, which highlights the significant role of remittances in the country’s economy.

If remittance inflows continue to rise in the latter half of December, it will reflect the confidence and reliance of foreign workers on Bangladesh’s economy. This sustained growth paves the way for increased economic stability, development initiatives and opportunities for the nation.

Not only that, Bangladesh ranks seventh in the world in terms of expatriate income and most of this income comes from the United States. By the end of 2023, formal total expatriate income in legitimate channels may reach 23 billion or 2 thousand 3 billion dollars with a growth of 7 percent.

Recently, the World Bank and Nomad’s report on Migration and Development has revealed this information.

The second highest remittances after the US comes from Saudi Arabia. In addition, a significant amount of expatriate income is coming from several Gulf Co Operation Council (GCC) countries. This includes several countries including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Iraq. Although there is a negative trend in Bangladesh’s remittances or expatriate income in 2022, the World Bank has predicted growth this year.

According to the data of Bangladesh Bank, the country received 193 million dollars of expatriate income in the month of November, which is 21 percent more than the same month of the previous year. In the 11 months up to November of this year, expatriate income has reached 19.92 billion or 1,992,570,000 dollars. As a result, according to the World Bank’s forecast, expatriate income needs to increase from 23 billion to 307 billion dollars by the end of 2023, which is considered difficult.

As a result of additional incentives given to expatriate income, remittance of expatriate income through banking channels has increased during July to November of the current financial year 2023-24.

Among the South Asian countries, Bangladesh is one of the few countries that have been able to set a unique example of socio-economic development. Bangladesh is at the forefront of economic and social indicators, leaving behind neighboring countries.

Bangladesh is seen as a model for the economic development of many less developed countries in the world today. The country has managed to maintain an economic growth rate of over six percent for over a decade.

British research institute Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) says that Bangladesh will be one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2040. Market size, economic growth and potential in various sectors such as agriculture, industry and service sector are significant.

According to the data of Bangladesh Bank, last September-2023, the country’s remittance flow decreased slightly, but it increased again in the following months. In the month of September, compared to the same period last year (2022), the remittances decreased by 13.33 percent (1.54 billion dollars) to 1.34 billion dollars.

Expatriates sent about $1.6 billion in remittances in August, the lowest in six months. In February, its amount was 1.56 billion dollars. Remittance inflows fell further to $1.34 billion in September, the lowest in 40 months.

However, remittances increased to $1.98 billion in October, which was $0.64 billion higher than the previous month. In the following month, the remittance flow decreased slightly to 1.93 billion dollars, which is almost 21 percent higher than in November last year.

From this point of view, this increase in remittances indicates the trend of our economic development and will help to increase the flow of remittances in the coming days.

The current government is determined to keep the country’s socio-economic development and education rate stable. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working towards this goal and her government’s multi-faceted steps towards expatriate income are encouraging remittance warriors to send more remittances. In the meantime, the government has increased the amount of approval to send money through legal channels.

The government is working to maintain the stability of the foreign exchange market in spite of various adversities and global crisis. Also, Hon’ble Prime Minister has been working for the last one and half decade in creating skilled manpower, providing training, providing loans and other facilities.

We believe that Bangladesh will ensure a sustainable economy and soon achieve the status of a developed country by continuing the development of the honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in increasing the export of skilled manpower and remittances.

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By: This article is written by Mehjabin Bhanu, a Bangladeshi culuminst, security and strategic affairs analyst, teacher.

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