Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves hit a record high of $33.60 billion at the end of August, the central bank said on Monday, up $690 million from the previous month.
The reserves are sufficient to cover about 10 months’ worth of imports for the country of 160 million people, and are $3.55 billion higher than a year ago.
Steady garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, the key drivers of the country’s more than $200 billion economy, have helped foreign exchange reserves grow steadily in recent years.
Converted into dollars at market exchange rates, Bangladesh’s GDP per capita was $1,538 in the past fiscal year (which ended on June 30th).
Its annual growth has averaged more than 6% over the past ten years and has run above 7% over the past two. A country that once lacked cloth for shrouds (back in early 70s) now exports more ready-made garments than India and Pakistan combined.