Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The Asian Clearing Union (ACU) has included the Japanese yen (JPY) in its basket as the third trading currency to boost business activities among its member-countries.
The decision was taken at a board meeting held in Colombo on July 13 with Indrajith Coomaraswamy, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, in the chair, officials said in Dhaka.
Currently, the US dollar and the European euro are used for payment among the member-countries of the Union.
“We’ll amend the transaction rules and procedures after getting minutes of the ACU board-of-directors meeting,” a senior official of Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.
He also said a delegation of the nine-member union, led by its Secretary-General Lida Borhan-Azad, will visit ASEAN countries to increase the number of ACU members.
In the first week of this month, Bangladesh made a routine payment of US$1.02 billion to the ACU against imports during the May–June period of the current calendar year.
Under the existing provisions, outstanding import bills and interests thereof are to be paid at the end of every two months among the member countries.
The amount of such payment came down to $1.02 billion in the last installment from $1.12 billion earlier mainly due to lower imports from the ACU member countries, another central banker said.
The BB official also said Bangladesh is now importing different consumer items, cotton, raw materials and capital machinery from the ACU member countries, particularly from India.
The ACU is an arrangement among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives through which intra-regional transactions among the participating central banks are settled on a multilateral basis.
The union started its operation in November 1975 to boost trade among the Asian countries.
Bangladesh and Myanmar joined the union as the sixth and seventh members in 1976 and 1977 respectively.
Bhutan joined the ACU in December 1999 and the Maldives in January 2010.