June 06, 2021


Bangladesh’s forex reserves cross $45 billion, inward remittances soar 39% in first 11 months

Bangladesh’s foreign currency reserves have breached the $45 billion mark for the first time following an uptick in remittances sent by the expatriates. The foreign exchange reserves jumped by nearly $12 billion in a year as the Bangladeshi migrants continued sending money amid the coronavirus pandemic. The inflow of remittances reached nearly US$ 21 billion in the first 11 months of the current fiscal year (FY), registering an increase of more than 39% despite the pandemic. The government has announced an incentive at the rate of 2% to encourage expatriate to send their income through legal channels. In the current fiscal year, the government has allocated over $361 million as cash incentive against remittance while in addition to this, some banks are offering 1% incentive against remittance.

Bangladesh unveils 50th budget eying 7.2% growth with speedy recovery from pandemic

With 7.2% growth target, Bangladesh has rolled out a BDT 6 trillion with 7.2% GDP growth target for the new fiscal year starting Jul 1 laying special emphasis on recovery of the economy following a year of hurdles induced by the coronavirus pandemic. Plans are set in motion to set aside $1 billion in the coming fiscal year to meet expenses related to unanticipated emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the fiscal prudence put in place by Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina, the ‘COVID-19 Response Emergency Assistance’ project will strengthen Bangladesh’s capacity to tackle the pandemic and improve systems for preventing, controlling and treating infectious diseases while also strengthening the emergency preparedness capacity. In April, the World Bank said, in a report, that the country’s economy is showing nascent signs of recovery backed by a rebound in exports, strong remittance inflows, and the vaccination programme.

Bangladesh a standout star in South Asia: Bloomberg

Bangladesh is destined to be South Asia’s standout success and countries like India and Pakistan have much to learn from Bangladesh, says a Bloomberg article. "Today, the country’s 160 million-plus people, packed into a fertile delta that’s more densely populated than the Vatican City, seem destined to be South Asia’s standout success," writes Mihir Swarup Sharma, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. Bangladesh’s growth rests on three pillars: exports, social progress and fiscal prudence. Between 2011 and 2019, Bangladesh’s exports grew at 8.6% every year, compared to the world average of 0.4%. Meanwhile, the share of Bangladeshi women in the labor force has consistently grown, unlike in India and Pakistan, where it has decreased. And Bangladesh has maintained a public debt-to-GDP ratio between 30% and 40%.

Bangladesh HPM rolls out $1 million in pandemic aid for the poor, safety net widens eightfold in 13 years

HPM Sheikh Hasina has unveiled $1 million in aid package for the poor and disadvantaged people affected amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The funds, provided by Hasina under Bangabandhu Memorial Trust, for a project to rehouse landless and homeless people. Under the able and prudent leadership of the Bangladesh premier, the allocation has been raised for social safety to almost eightfold in the last 13 years for protecting the livelihood targeted inclusion of over 1.2 million beneficiaries in the next fiscal year. Moreover, a decision has been taken to increase the budgetary allocation by 12.5% in the fiscal year 2021-22 as part of the efforts to turn around the lives of the people.

Rohingya Crisis: Bangladesh has shown humanity, solidarity: UNHCR

Bangladesh has taken a huge responsibility by hosting almost one million Rohingya refugees in the largest refugee camp in the world, said the UN Refugee Agency, calling on the international community to support Bangladesh and share its burden. "While Bangladesh has shown humanity and solidarity, in line with the guiding principles of the Global Compact on Refugees, the international community must step up and give practical effect to the obligation to share responsibility, and to protect refugees and support the host Bangladeshi government," said UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Gillian Triggs. Over the previous few months these amenities and infrastructure has been visited by a great quantity of journalists, NGOs and Ambassadors of totally different Foreign Missions in Bangladesh. All of them expressed their satisfaction on the usual of these infrastructures and amenities.

Tax benefits galore to support homegrown industries

Domestic manufacturing might enjoy a big boost as the government plans to encourage local investment in products labelled "Made in Bangladesh". As part of the plan proposed in the national budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) will continue to provide VAT exemption to makers of refrigerators, freezers, and compressors used in these products for another year. Manufacturers of air conditioners and its compressors would also enjoy VAT exemption for three more years. Apart from VAT benefit, the NBR also offered full tax exemption for 20-year for makers of three-wheeler and four-wheeler vehicles.

Bangladesh seeks waiver of TRIPS obligations to ramp up vaccine production, vaccination drive for students on the cards

Bangladesh has made a strong call for a temporary waiver from certain TRIPS obligations for the production of vaccines, medicines and health technologies to effectively respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The call was made at the 74th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) held on May 24-June 1 in Geneva virtually. In addition, the country has called for paying due attention to the need to promote mental health across the globe and ensure sustainable funding for a strong World Health Organization. Moreover, the University Grants Commission (UGC) decided to vaccinate university students as soon as possible so that their dormitories could be reopened. Meanwhile, district administrations have been given the authority to enforce lockdown in their areas if the Covid-19 situation deteriorates there.

Bangladesh, UK join hands on climate change

Bangladesh and the UK have agreed to exchange expertise, share technology and facilitate partnerships to tackle the impacts of climate change. In a joint statement following a meeting between Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and COP26 President-Designate and UK MP Alok Sharma in Dhaka last week, they agreed to demonstrate sustained leadership to tackle the climate emergency bilaterally and globally. Bangladesh and the UK expressed their resolve to work together to contribute to ensuring all countries meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement, and improve the resilience of those most vulnerable to climate change. The progress is significant given that Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries facing massive damages to crops, properties and even lives in flooding and cyclones almost every year.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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