Social media giant Facebook and search engine titan Google jointly $64.41 million repatriated from Bangladesh in the last five and a half years as part of their profit.
The money, took out from the country, was spent on advertising with Google and Facebook, said industry insiders.
They said that digital media is becoming more important than traditional media in advertising in recent days. As a result, a significant portion of advertising is spent on online platforms such as Facebook, Google and YouTube, according to industry people.
From 2016 to May this year, Facebook took away $31.39 million and Google repatriated $33.02 million from Bangladesh through the banking channels, as per the data from the Bangladesh Bank.
The global tech giants took the money from the country using banking channels, said Md. Serajul Islam, Executive Director and spokesperson of the Bangladesh Bank.
He said that they have transferred this money in the last five and a half years and the banks concerned deducted Value Added Tax (VAT) from the fund as the proceedings were sent out through the banking channels.
Seeking anonymity, another central bank official, who has vast knowledge about foreign exchange transactions said that the money channelled through the banks is very small, but most of the money sent abroad through non-banking channels is spent on advertising with Facebook and Google.
He said this is good news that Facebook got VAT registration from the National Board of Revenue (NBR), giving an idea about their total amount of revenue mobilised from Bangladesh.
Global tech giant Google in May this year got VAT registration from the NBR and then in June Facebook also got VAT registration.
The National Board of Revenue in last year decided to allow tech giants to get direct VAT registration without opening local offices in order to bring them under the tax network.
There is no accurate data of how much money is being pocketed by Google, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube, Netflix and other international tech giants as advertisement from Bangladesh.
However, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services President Syed Almas Kabir said that around Tk 2000 crore to Tk 3000 crore is channelled out by the international tech giants in advertisement fees every year.