Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The country’s foreign exchange reserve has crossed US$8 billion mark for the first time, thanks to a robust growth of inward remittances as well as deceasing import payments.

The foreign exchange reserve reached $8.005 billion on Thursday from $7.945 billion of the previous day, setting a new record in the history of Bangladesh, officials said in Dhaka on Saturday.

“Steady growth of inward remittances and deceasing import payments have contributed to the crossing of forex reserves $8.0 billion-mark,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) confirmed.  

The country’s overall import fell by over 18 percent in July against the same period of the previous year, as falling trend of prices of major commodities in the global market, the BB officials added.

The overall import came down to $1.590 billon in July, 2009 from $1.952 billion in the corresponding period of the last year, according to the central bank statistics.

On the other hand, Remittances by the Bangladeshi expatriates stood at over $886 million in July 2009, marking an eight per cent growth over the month of July of last fiscal, they added.

The remittances from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad were estimated at $886.40 million in July this year, a fall by $32.70 million from the previous month. In June 2009, the remittance was $919.26 million, the BB’s data showed.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-09August09-2:10 am (BST)