Dhaka, January 8:
Bangladeshis living and working abroad sent home a record $5.46 billion in 2006, a year-on increase of 28 per cent, the countryâ€™s central bank said today.
The figure is more than $1.21 billion more than the amount Bangladeshâ€™s huge expatriate community sent home in 2005, executive director Yasin Ali of Bangladesh Bank said.
â€œThe record rise is mainly due to more people going abroad with jobs last year, and increased inflow through formal banking channels,â€ he said.
The record remittances also pushed up the countryâ€™s foreign exchange reserve to $3.97 billion, the highest since the countryâ€™s became independent in 1971.
According to official figures, more than five million Bangladeshis now live or work abroad, mainly in oil-rich Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world with a population of 144 million, counts on the inflow of foreign exchange to fund its imports.
According to a report, remittances has been a major source of income for the South Asian Nations, including Bangladesh.