Bangladeshi expatriates in the United Arab Emirates sent home the highest remittance amounting to $264 million in September of the current fiscal year, according to the latest Bangladesh Bank data.
The data showed that the remittance inflow from the UAE increased by 10.92 per cent to $264 million in September compared to $238 million in the previous month.
However, the remittance inflow from other countries, including Saudi Arabia, the US and the UK, dropped in September than that of August.
Expatriates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent the second highest remittance-a little over $218 million to Bangladesh in September, even though Saudi Arabia usually bags the top remittance sender spot as the country hosts most of the Bangladeshi migrant workers. Bangladesh received $291 million in remittance from KSA in August this year.
Most of Bangladeshi expatriate workers live in Middle Eastern countries, and the highest amount of remittances comes from these states.
The United Kingdom came in third with a little over $147 million in remittances sent to Bangladesh in September. Bangladesh received $291 million from UK in August. In FY23, the UK was the fourth top remittance sender to Bangladesh.
In September, expatriates in the US sent around $141 million in remittance, putting the country in the fourth place. It was $200 million in August. The US was the second-highest top remitter in FY23 and FY2021-22.
Bangladesh received $93 million in remittance from the expatriates in Kuwait, making it the fifth-highest remittance sender in September. Kuwait was the fifth remitter in FY22 and FY23.
Policy Research Institute Executive Director Ahsan H Mansur told The Business Post, "It's concerning that the remittance inflow from top senders like Saudi Arabia and the US have dropped through legal channels. Migrants may have used secondary channels [such as hundi] and that's why remittance inflow fell in July."
He also said, “People are trying to keep the USD reserves abroad because of the upcoming national polls. Some people who control the illegal channel are trying to understand the whole situation before the national election."
The inflow of remittance, a major source of USD earnings for Bangladesh, dropped to a three and a half year low this September at a time when the country remains lesser focused on boosting foreign exchange reserves.
According to the Bangladesh Bank data released on Sunday, the remittance inflow stood at $1.34 billion in September 2023, the lowest since the country recorded $1.27 billion back in March 2020. When compared year-on-year, remittances fell by 12.72 per cent or 200 million in the same month.