Bangladesh’s Forex Reserve Falls Short of IMF 2023 Target


Bangladesh forex reserves ended 2023 at $17.20 billion, less than the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) revised target of $17.78 billion, Initially pegged at $26.81 billion, and the target was $19.27 billion for March and $20.11 billion for June Short-term targets were adjusted. Even though Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder said the target would be $17.20 billion, economists emphasize the need to maintain this pace to secure the remaining IMF funds.

The reports suggest that it could be significant, with sources putting the International Reserve Ratio (NIR) as low as $16.75 billion. Bangladesh ran into setbacks in September, followed by a failure to maintain the revised currency, prompting the IMF to make further adjustments.

As the January 7 general election approached, Bangladesh assured the IMF that it would be possible to meet tax reserve targets after the election, which would facilitate the loan terms. The country’s reserves faced challenges during the dollar crisis, prompting the Bank of Bangladesh to raise dollars from various sources to meet IMF conditions.

Dhaka Tribune highlighted successful inventory preservation measures, including import control, remittance incentives, export promotion and early disbursement of IMF loans. Exceeding the IMF target of $17.48 billion, Bangladesh received the second tranche of IMF funding by October 2023, meeting all conditions except reserves and fundraising targets. Continued efforts will be intensified in the coming months to meet these challenges.

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