Staff Correspondent: Multifaceted foreign trade of the United States with Bangladesh has started to decline. Meanwhile, imports from the United States and exports from Bangladesh have decreased. The collection of remittances from the United States has also declined to the fourth position from the top. The trend of foreign donations has also decreased. Besides, the investment of American entrepreneurs in Bangladesh and the investment of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs in the United States have also decreased. Overall, the tendency of Bangladesh to get loans from the country has also decreased. Among these, long-term debt is decreasing, short-term debt has slightly increased. This information was obtained by analyzing various reports prepared by Bangladesh Bank.
The United States is putting pressure in various ways to make the upcoming parliamentary elections of Bangladesh free, fair and participatory. It has already imposed visa policy on human rights and election issues. In addition, it has threatened to impose trade sanctions if the workers’ rights are taken away.
Analysts think that these factors are also involved in the decline in Bangladesh’s foreign trade with the United States. The United States as a single country is Bangladesh’s main source of foreign exchange. The country exports most of its products to the United States. It was once the top recipient of remittances. Besides, the country’s position in foreign investment in Bangladesh is in the top row. Foreign exchange also comes from donations. One of the sources of foreign debt is the United States. If the inflow of foreign currency from the country decreases in these sectors, there will be a major negative impact on the inflow of dollars in Bangladesh. Suddenly it will be difficult to find an alternative source of foreign exchange income. Then the dollar crisis will be more pronounced. Economists have warned that it may have a terrible negative impact on the overall economy of the country.
In this context, the former president of Bangladesh Economic Association and prominent economist Dr. Mainul Islam said that foreigners will not accept unilateral elections. If the election is not participatory, not only economic issues, but also various obstacles may arise in other areas. If such a barrier comes from a big country, the economy will be damaged. The image of the country will be damaged.
Analyzing the report of the Central Bank, it can be seen that remittances from the United States reached $511.7 million in July-September of the current financial year. Which is 10.41 percent of total remittances and ranks fourth among total remittances. In the same period of the last financial year, the position of the United States was at the top in the collection of remittances. At the time of discussion, it fell from the top position to the fourth position. In the same period of the last financial year, remittances from the country were 99.98 million dollars. At that time, it was 17.2 percent of the total remittances. During that period, remittances from the United States to Bangladesh decreased by 48.85 percent.
In July-September of last year, remittances from the United States were $99.98 million, in October-December $96.69 million. In March-April of this year, $83.45 million, $72.08 million in April-June and $51.17 million came in July-September. A review of the available data shows that the remittance flow has been decreasing in every subsequent quarter from July-September last year.
According to the data obtained from the Central Bank, in the financial year 2016-17, remittances from the country were $1.69 billion, which is 13.23 percent of the total remittances. In the financial year 2017-18, $1.2 billion came in, which is 13.33 percent of the total remittances. In the financial year 2018-19, $1.84 billion came in, which is 11.22 percent of the total remittances. In 2019-20 fiscal year, $240 million came in, which is 13.20 percent of total remittances. $346 crores in the financial year 2020-21, which is 13.97 percent of the total remittances. In the financial year 2021-22, $3.44 billion came in, which is 16.35 percent of the total remittances. In the financial year 2022-23, $3.52 billion came in, which is 16.30 percent of the total remittances. That is, remittance flow from the country has increased more than twice in the last 6 years. Now decreasing from there.
During July-October of the current financial year, exports to the country were $287 million. Out of this, $870 million in June, $810 million in July, $800 million in August, $680 million in September and $580 million in October have been exported. The data shows that the income is decreasing every month. Last year’s July-October export income was $308 million. Export earnings from the country fell by about 7 percent during that period. Last financial year, exports to the country were $9.7 billion. Which is 17 and a half percent of the total export income. The single largest export is to the United States. Now the export income is decreasing. As a result, overall export income is decreasing.
Bangladesh’s imports from the United States have decreased. Due to the dollar crisis, the central bank and the government have taken various steps to control imports since April last year. Now those measures have been tightened. As a result, overall imports have decreased. As a part of this, imports from the US also fell. Goods worth $82.9 million were imported in April-June last year. During January-March, $56 million and $443.8 million worth of goods were imported in April and June. That is, imports are decreasing every quarter. Compared to April-June last year, imports fell by 46 percent during the same period this year. Total imports fell by 24 percent during the same period. Imports fell by 16 percent in the last financial year. Only 3.7 percent of total imports come from the United States.
The foreign direct investment (FDI) status of US entrepreneurs in Bangladesh is also declining. Their net investment position as of June was $3.95 billion. Earlier last December it was $410.34 million. The investment position fell by 4 percent during the reporting period.
Meanwhile, Bangladeshis have little investment in the United States. Its status has also decreased. Until December last year, the investment status of Bangladeshis in the United States was $12.40 lakh. In December 2021, it was $21 million. During that time investment fell by 41 percent.
The bulk of US private debt comes through imports. Due to lower imports, the flow of credit in this sector has also decreased. In September last year, the short and medium-term foreign debt position of the private sector was $776 million. Last June it fell to $69 million. During that time, the debt level fell by 11 percent. However, short-term loans are increasing in the private sector. In July it was $62 million, in August it increased to $71.55 million, in September it further increased to $71.98 million. Repayment in this sector is low due to extension of previous loan tenure and increased interest. Due to which status has increased.
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