Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserve (forex) fell below US$32 billion again on Wednesday following a regular payment to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU).

The forex reserve came down to $ 31.93 billion on the day from $ 33.17 billion of the previous working day. It was $ 31.94 billion on Thursday, according to the central bank statistics.

On May 09, the forex reserve came down to $ 31.92 billion after making the ACU payment for March-April period from $ 33.23 billion of the previous working day.

The country has made a routine payment of US$ 1.27 billion to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) against the imports during May-June period of this calendar year.

“We’ve already remitted the fund to the ACU headquarters in Tehran in line with the existing provisions of the union,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the BBN in Dhaka.

He also said the amount of ACU payment dropped to $ 1.27 billion during the period under review from the previous level of $ 1.39 billion, mainly due to lower import from its member countries particularly from India.

The central banker expects that such payment may fall slightly in the coming months following lower rice import from India.

Bangladesh is now importing different consumer items, cotton, raw materials and capital machinery from the ACU member countries, particularly from India, Pakistan and Bhutan, he added,

Under the existing provisions of ACU, the outstanding import bills and interests thereof among the member countries are to be paid at the end of every two months.

ACU is an arrangement involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Through it intra-regional transactions among the participating central banks are settled on a multilateral basis.
The union started its operation in November 1975 to boost trade among the member countries.

Bangladesh and Myanmar joined the union as the sixth and seventh members in 1976 and 1977 respectively. Bhutan joined ACU in December 1999 and the Maldives in January 2010.

BBN/SSR/AD