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Imports from ACU members up by 22pc in Sept-Oct

FE REPORT | November 09, 2020 00:00:00

The country's imports from the member countries of Asian Clearing Union (ACU) increased by nearly 22 per cent in the September-October period of this calendar year, officials said.

The amount of bimonthly ACU payment rose to $1.30 billion during the period from $1.07 billion of earlier payment mainly due to higher imports from the ACU member countries, particularly India.

After the payment, the country's foreign exchange (forex) reserves fell to $39.99 billion on Thursday from $41.00 billion on the previous working day, according to the central bank's latest statistics.

The forex reserve was $40 billion on Sunday.

Talking to the FE, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said the country is now capable to settle import bills of 10 months with the existing reserves.

He also said the central bank has already remitted the fund to the ACU headquarters in Tehran in line with the existing provisions of the union.

As per the provisions, outstanding import bills and interest thereof are to be paid by member countries at the end of every two months.

Bangladesh is now importing different consumer items, cotton, raw materials and capital machinery from the ACU member countries, especially from neighbouring India.

The ACU is an arrangement involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives through which intraregional 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 the ACU in December 1999 and the Maldives in January 2010.

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