Expat Bangladeshis remitted record $2.6bn in July

Expat Bangladeshis remitted record $2.6bn in July

Expatriate Bangladeshis have sent home $2.6 billion in July alone – the highest monthly remittance received in the country's history – despite all sorts of troubles that accompanied the global coronavirus pandemic.

In June, the country received $1.833 billion in remittance.

The buoyant inflow of remittance helped push the central bank's foreign currency reserve to record $37.287 billion till July 31.

Various time-befitting steps taken by the government, such as 2% cash incentive, have played a role in encouraging the expatriates to send more money through the legal channels.

Last year, the country received $18 billion in remittance.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the government is working to receive $3-5 billion more in remittance in this current fiscal year.

"We will take all steps to ensure that remittance is sent through the legal channels," he said.

"We will remove all obstacles the expatriates face while sending money home."

Millions of expatriate workers lost their jobs and returned home as the coronavirus pandemic brought economic activities to a standstill across the world.

In May, two months after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the UK and Switzerland called for countries to work together to make sure people can continue sending money to relatives in other countries during the global crisis.

Such remittances account for more than 5% of GDP (gross domestic product) in at least 60 developing countries. World Bank has predicted remittances to low and middle-income countries will fall by 20% or $110 billion in 2020.