DHAKA, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's overall balance of payments (BoP) surplus reached over 5 billion U.S. dollars in the last fiscal year 2012-13 concluded in June due mainly to healthy current account balance on the back of an increase in exports and inflow of remittances, an official said Monday.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) official, who preferred to be unnamed, told Xinhua, "Overall BoP registered a surplus of 5,128 million U. S. dollars in the last fiscal year (July 2012- June 2013)."
Bangladesh's BoP surplus reached 494 million U.S. dollars in the previous 2011-12 fiscal year (July 2011- June 2012), the BB data showed.
Bangladesh's BoP after a decade swung into a deficit of 635 million U.S. dollars in the last 2010-11 fiscal year (July 2010- June 2011). The country's overall balance of payments entered the negative territory because of a widening trade gap, lower growth in inflow remittances and a deficit of 1.58 billion U.S. dollars in the financial account in the last 2010-11 fiscal year.
As export earnings and inflow of remittances expanded while imports kept falling, the official said Bangladesh's current account balance showed a surplus of 2.53 billion U.S. dollars during the last fiscal year, in contrast to a deficit of 447 million U.S. dollars in the previous fiscal year (July 2011-June 2012).
BB officials say the South Asian country's current account balance and overall balance of payments have maintained a positive trend in the last fiscal because of accelerated growth in export earnings and inflow of remittances and continuously falling imports.
They say strong remittances by nearly 9 millions of expatriate Bangladeshis also helped offset the impact of the trade shortfall which stood at 7.010 billion U. S. dollars and kept the overall BoP in surplus.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data released last month, Bangladesh's export income in the last fiscal year grew 11.18 percent year on year to reach 27.018 billion U. S. dollars.
Apart from export and remittances, which surged to nearly 15 billion U.S. dollars in the last fiscal year, a growth of over 13 percent year on year, the central bank official said slump in import bills also contributed remarkably.
He said Bangladesh's overall import orders have been declining since the end of the last year due to political uncertainty over the next parliamentary elections slated for 2014 and the ongoing war crimes trial.
BB data showed overall import orders, officially known as fresh opening of import letters of credit (LCs), in the last fiscal year dropped by 2.84 percent year on year to 35.98 billion U. S. dollars.
The settlements of LCs or actual import payments also dropped by 7.06 percent year on year to 32.36 billion U.S. dollars, it showed.
Officials said Bangladesh's import orders, which usually grow by around 20 percent to 40 percent, saw a slower growth in the last fiscal year as the entire economic activities have felt the pinch of intensified political unrest due to a series of hartals and other political and non-political acts of violence that has led the South Asian economy to remain in a fragile state.