Bangladeshi workers send home record amount in 2007

Agence France-Presse

Posted date: January 06, 2008

DHAKA–Bangladeshis working abroad, a key source of economic stability for the impoverished South Asian country, sent home a record $6.56 billion in 2007, officials said Sunday.The remittances totalled $1.1 billion more than the five million workers sent home in 2006, said the executive director of the country’s central bank, Yasin Ali.

“It’s a tremendous achievement and it is mainly due to a record number of people going abroad with jobs last year and increased inflows through formal banking channels,” he said.

The record remittances also pushed up Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves to $5.5 billion, the highest since the country gained independence in 1971.

The country’s overseas employment ministry said nearly 600,000 people went abroad to work last year, nearly doubling from a year ago, mainly in oil-rich Gulf countries and Southeast Asia, ministry director Salim Reza said.

Another 230,000 people received work permits and immigration clearance and were now waiting to take jobs in the Gulf, Malaysia and Singapore, he added.