Seven out of the top 10 source countries for remittances experienced declines. The largest decrease in this is from the United States. Income from the United States, Bangladesh’s second-largest source of expatriate income, has fallen by almost half.
Analyzing Bangladesh Bank’s data on expatriate income in the first quarter of the current financial year (July-September), this figure has been found.
After the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, the country has been experiencing a dollar-crisis for a year and a half. Foreign exchange reserves are under pressure. The pressure is increasing as expatriate income through banks has decreased. In the first three months of the current financial year, the expatriate income has reached 491 million dollars, which is 13.34 percent less than the same period of the last financial year. Of this, the last September expatriate income was 1.34 billion 3.6 million dollars, which is the lowest in almost three and a half years.
According to Bangladesh Bank data, the top 10 sources of expatriate income in the country in the first three months of the current financial year are United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States, Oman, Malaysia, Kuwait, Italy, Qatar and Bahrain. 86 percent of expatriate income came from these 10 countries. In this, expatriate income from UAE, UK, Oman has increased. The remaining seven countries declined.
When asked, executive director of private research institute South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) Salim Raihan told Mynewsbd yesterday that high inflation has been going on in the country for several months. It is normal for expatriates to send money to their relatives in the country. There is no justification for expatriate income to decline.
Salim Raihan thinks that expatriate income is coming, but less is coming through banking. In fact, this is happening because of the increase in the demand for hundi. Usually such a situation arises when money laundering increases. Meanwhile, the pressure on the reserves has also increased due to the decrease in expatriate income through banking. So money laundering must be prevented to get out of the vicious circle of hundi.
According to Economic Survey data, Saudi Arabia accounted for 54 percent of the country’s total manpower exports in 2022. And the second highest 16 percent in Oman. The third-ranked UAE exports 9 percent of its workforce.
As of the last financial year, the top two countries in terms of expatriate income were Saudi Arabia and the United States. This time, the UAE is at the top of the expatriate income there. In the last three months, the country received 830 million dollars of expatriate income, which is 5.65 percent more than this period of the last financial year. Saudi Arabia ($81.72 billion) and United Kingdom ($58.88 billion) are in the second and third positions in the list of expatriate income source countries.
Although manpower is not exported to the United States like the Middle East, several lakhs of Bangladeshis live there permanently. Thousands of students visit the country every year. Basically they send expatriate income from US.
The 2019-20 fiscal year is the third highest expatriate income from the US at $240 million. The next year it stood at 3.46 billion dollars. Since then, the United States has been the second top source of expatriate income, which has remained the same for the past two years.
In the first three months of the current financial year, US$ 510 million of expatriate income came from the United States. During the same period last year, the country received 99.9 million dollars of expatriate income. This means that in the first quarter of the current financial year, the expatriate income from the country has decreased by 48.81 percent. In this, the United States has dropped from the second highest position of expatriate income to the fourth position.
When asked, Mutual Trust Bank Managing Director Syed Mahbubur Rahman told Mynewsbd that most of the Bangladeshi citizens in the United States are educated. Although their income has not decreased, they have reduced the income sent to the country. He also said that the price in hundi is much higher than the legal route. Because of this, many people are choosing that path now. Apart from this, many people are taking into account the overall situation of the country before sending the income.