Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The country’s overall imports grew by 7.11 percent with some other consumer goods marking the highest 47.25 percent rise in the fiscal 2009-10 (FY10) over the previous fiscal.
The import growth rose to 7.11 percent in FY10 from 5.26 percent in the previous fiscal year, according to the central bank statistics. 
“The increase in overall import growth indicates that the country’s business activity has improved, which may continue during the the current fiscal year,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka. 
The import of other consumer goods like fresh fruits, dry fruits, pulses, onions and spices stood at US$1.737 billion in FY10 against $1.179 billion in the previous fiscal year because of rising trend in prices of the items in the global market.
On the other hand, food grains import fell by 1.90 percent to $854.76 million in FY10 from $871.09 million of 2008-09, the BB data showed. 
The value of letters of credit (LCs) against imports worth $ 22.969 billion was settled in FY10 compared to $21.444 billion in the previous fiscal. 
Opening of LCs for capital machinery scaled up by over 55 percent to $1.918 billion in FY10 from $1.234 billion the previous fiscal year while settlement of LCs increased by 3.95 percent to $1.459 billion against $1.403 billion. 
“Political stability has encouraged our entrepreneurs to place higher order for importing capital machinery,” the BB official said, adding that the upward trend will continue if the government ensures adequate supplies of gas and power particularly to the industrial units. 
However, import of industrial raw materials decreased by 3.07 percent to $8.233 billion in FY10 from $8.494 billion in the previous fiscal year. 
Import of intermediate goods like scrap vessels, raw cotton, coal and cement was worth $2.051 billion in FY10 against $2.123 billion in FY09. 
The import of petroleum products rose to $2.290 billion in this fiscal which was $2.036 billion in last fiscal year. 
Machinery for miscellaneous industrious imports witnessed a 25.70 per cent growth to $2.089 billion in FY10 against previous $1.662 billion. 
BBN/SS/SI/AD-02Aug10-7:49 pm (BST)