Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Dhaka has made a routine payment of $570 million to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) against imports during January-February of this calendar year, officials said on Wednesday.

The payment pushed the country’s exchange reserve down to $10.04 billion on the day from $10.54 billion of the previous day, the central bank officials confirmed.

“We’ve remitted the fund to the ACU headquarters in Tehran in line with the existing provision of the night-member union,” a senior official of the BangladeshBank (BB) told the FE, adding that import from the ACU member countries practically India increased during the period over the previous two months.

Under the existing provisions, outstanding import bills and interest accruing against thereof are settled at the end of every two months among the member countries.

The amount of payment rose to $570 million in the last installment from $484 million earlier mainly due to increase imports of the country with other ACU member countries, they added.

“India is our main trading partner under the ACU arrangement,” the BB official said, adding that Bangladesh has imported different commodities including consumer items from the South Asian country.

The ACU is an arrangement among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka through which intra-regional transactions among the participating central banks are settled on a multilateral basis.

The union started in November 1975 to boost trade relations among the member countries.

The Maldives joined the union in January 2010.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-04March10-1:02 am (BST)