Robust Remittance Inflow Continues Despite Pandemic

Seeking continued support from the World Bank to push the country's economy forward, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said Bangladesh has seen a marked growth in remittance inflow despite predictions of decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

''I would like to inform everyone with pleasure that the remittance inflow to Bangladesh has always shown an uptrend. But it has accelerated recently. We've received the highest amount of remittances of USD 18.2 billion in 2019-2020,'' he said on Wednesday.

The minister said this while addressing a virtual roundtable meeting as part of the Annual Meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The first quarter of the current fiscal year (2020-2021) recorded a remittance inflow of US 6.71 billion, up 49 percent from the remittances the country received during the same period in the previous fiscal year, he said.

Mustafa Kamal pointed out that the 2 percent direct cash incentive given by the government is playing a major role in boosting the remittance inflow.

The Finance Minister mentioned that approximately 11.6 million Bangladeshi citizens are now working in different fields worldwide.

He urged the World Bank to recognize the contributions of Bangladeshis to the progress of the country they are working in and the global economy.

World Bank's South Asia Region Vice President Hartwig Schafer, acting Finance Minister of Afghanistan Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, Bhutanese Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Tshering, Indian Women and Children Development Minister Smriti Irani, The Maldives Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, Nepal's Prime Minister’s Special Economic Adviser Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Special Assistant to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Sania Nishtar and Sri Lankan Education Minister GL Peiris, attended the virtual meeting.

''The appreciation of the efforts of these people working in every major city of the world, including Europe, America, the Middle East and East Asia, to revive the global economy will inspire not only our people but also the expatriate workers around the world,'' Mustafa Kamal said.

Due to the Covid-19, Kamal said, 1,95,698 Bangladeshi expatriates returned home by October 15, 2020, and during the same period, 2,84,000 expatriates went abroad, which is 26 percent higher than the figure during the same period last year.

The Finance Minister said a program involving $240 million will be implemented for the specific social protection of expatriate workers.

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