DHAKA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's trade deficit ballooned to a record level of over 33 billion U.S. dollars in fiscal 2021-22 which ended June 30 on the back of increased imports, showed the latest central bank data.
The trade deficit in the last fiscal year (July 2021-June 2022) surged about 40 percent to 33.25 billion dollars compared to a year earlier, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) data showed.
According to the central bank data, the country's import payment was 82.50 billion dollars, up 35.95 percent, in the last fiscal year, while earnings from exports stood at 49.25 billion dollars, up 33.45 percent, during the same period.
Bangladesh's trade deficit in the previous 2020-21 fiscal year reached 23.78 billion dollars.
Experts here in recent months have stressed the need for curbing imports, boosting exports and inflow of remittances to minimize trade deficit and provide relief to the country's forex reserves.
Weighed by higher import bills and the taka's weakness driven by the dollar's broad surge in recent months, Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserves last month fell below 40 billion dollars for the first time in two years.
In its bid to boost shrinking forex reserves, the BB in recent months has taken various measures to discourage imports and woo more remittances from millions of Bangladeshi people living and working abroad.
Bangladeshi expatriates in July sent home 2.09 billion dollars, the highest in 14 months, largely buoyed by the relaxation of various rules in recent months.
Also, Bangladesh's total exports in the first month of the current 2022-23 fiscal year (July 2022-June 2023) reached 3.98 billion dollars, up about 15 percent year on year, showed Export Promotion Bureau data posted on its website Tuesday.
Experts here said the country's exporters, who suffered huge setbacks amid the COVID-19 outbreak, are now breathing a sigh of relief as orders for major garment products from retailers have come back in recent months driven by a rebound in foreign demand amid economic recovery.