Overseas Employment and Remittance

Remittances to Bangladesh are money transfers sent by the Bangladeshi diaspora to Bangladesh.

According to the World Bank, Bangladesh is the 7th highest recipient of remittance in the world with almost $22.1 billion in 2021 and was the third highest recipient of remittance in South Asia. A survey on the remittance usage conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in 2013 showed that 32.81% and 32.82% of the remittances are used for food and non-food expenditures. 18.84% of remittances were used for durable and other expenses including 17.39% utilised for the purchase of land.

District-wise Remittance over the Years

District-wise Remittance over the Years

Most overseas remittance flows to Dhaka and Chattogram regions. Sylhet, which was once the centre of overseas remittance flows now stands as the distant third in the remittance league table. The share of other regions, especially that of north and south remains insignificant.This flow reflects several facts including the uneven growth of different regions within the country.

Total Employment & Remittance

Both overseas employment and incoming remittance flows have been consistently increasing over the years. However, they respond to large-scale economic and health shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic when overseas employment went down dramatically. Following the COVID-19 shock, the remittance inflow and employment behaved in opposite directions probably due to the fact that workers brought all their overseas savings back with them when they lost their employments and returned home. Policies need to focus on how to accommodate the returnees to local job markets, how to use their experience to send others overseas in the future and to reinvest the remittance in the economy.

Overseas Employment

In 2020 owing to the COVID-19 shock, new overseas employment declined across the board. The average year-to-year decline was about 70% with some districts experiencing a much higher fall in overseas employment. However, effects are heterogeneous as few districts far better than others.

Overseas Employment Vs Remittance

Source-wise Amount of Remittance

Country-wise Remittance

In the last decade, the main source countries for overseas remittance have been the UAE and the USA, followed by the UK, Kuwait, Malaysia, and Qatar. The countries that are becoming increasingly important as sources are Italy, Bahrain, and Singapore. Overall, the resources of remittances are quite diverse reflecting the diversity of the overseas employment types.