Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The central bank of Bangladesh made a routine payment of US$972 million to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) against imports during the May-June period of the current calendar year.
After the payment, Bangladesh’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves came down to $29.64 billion on Saturday from $ 30.49 billion of the previous working day, according to the central bank statistics.
“Bangladesh is still in satisfactory position on the forex reserves mainly due to higher export earnings but comparatively low import payment obligations,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central banker, told BBN in Dhaka.
He also said the country would be able to settle more than seven months import bills with the existing forex reserves.
The amount of such payment rose to $972 million in the last installment from $879 million earlier mainly due to higher imports from the ACU member countries, according to another central banker.
He also said Bangladesh is importing different consumer items, cotton, raw materials and capital machinery from the ACU member countries, especially from India.
The central bank of Bangladesh has already remitted the fund to the ACU headquarters in Tehran in line with the existing provisions of the nine-member union.
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 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 operations in November 1975 to boost trade among the member countries. Bangladesh and Myanmar joined the union as the sixth and the seventh members in 1976 and 1977 respectively. Bhutan joined the ACU in December 1999 and the Maldives in January 2010.