Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh made a routine payment of US$582 million on Tuesday to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) against imports for July-August period of the current year.

“We have remitted the fund to the ACU headquarters in Tehran in line with the existing provision of the eight-member union,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.

The amount of payment came down to $582 million during the period from $591 million of the May-June period of this year indicating lower imports from other ACU member countries, according to the official.

Under the provisions, settlement of the balance and accrued interests are made at the end of each two-month period among the member countries of ACU.

The payment pushed the foreign exchange reserve down to $5.32 billion on the day from $5.96 billion on the previous day, he noted.

The ACU is an arrangement between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to settle payments for intra-regional transactions among the participating central banks on a multilateral basis.

The union started its operations in November 1975 to boost trade relations among the member countries. Bangladesh and Myanmar joined the union as sixth and seventh members in 1976 and 1977 respectively.

However, Bhutan joined the ACU on December 9, 1999.