Thursday, June 20, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

Foreign Borrowing Soars: A Surge of 39 Billion Taka in Twelve Months

Foreign Borrowing Soars

In the intricate tapestry of global finance, nations are perennially entangled in the intricate web of foreign debt complexities. The dynamics of economic interdependence transcend borders, creating an environment where financial challenges become shared burdens. Within this context, Bangladesh stands as a participant in the ongoing global dialogue on economic resilience and sustainability. Recent data has thrust the nation into the spotlight, unveiling a noteworthy surge in foreign debt by a staggering 39 thousand crores over the past year. This surge, equivalent to 3.49 billion dollars, beckons us to delve into the historical context, dissect the driving forces behind this escalation, and anticipate the potential ramifications for the delicate equilibrium of the nation’s economic stability.

 The modern economic landscape is marked by its ever-evolving nature, shaped by geopolitical shifts, global market dynamics, and the incessant ebb and flow of financial currents. In this intricate dance, foreign debt becomes a pivotal player, influencing a nation’s economic trajectory and, by extension, the well-being of its citizens. Bangladesh’s recent experience with a substantial surge in foreign debt serves as a microcosm of the broader challenges faced by nations navigating the intricate waters of global finance.

This article endeavors to unravel the layers of complexity surrounding Bangladesh’s foreign debt escalation. By examining the historical context, we aim to discern patterns, shifts, and key indicators that have paved the way for this significant increas

  1. Furthermore, a closer inspection of the driving forces behind this surge becomes imperative, as it unveils the economic undercurrents shaping the nation’s financial narrative. Finally, the potential ramifications on the nation’s economic stability form a crucial aspect of our exploration, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

 As we embark on this analytical journey, the goal is not only to decipher the quantitative aspects of the surge but also to comprehend the qualitative aspects that underpin the dynamics of Bangladesh’s economic resilience. In doing so, we hope to contribute to a nuanced understanding of the multifaceted forces at play in the realm of foreign debt, offering insights that extend beyond the numerical values into the broader context of sustainable economic development. 

Historical Context: 

Delving into the historical backdrop of Bangladesh’s foreign debt trajectory provides a critical lens through which we can grasp the evolution of the nation’s financial landscape. As of June in the preceding year (2022), the nation’s total foreign debt was firmly anchored at 9 thousand 545 million dollars. This baseline figure, a testament to the intricate balance between domestic economic aspirations and international financial engagements, sets the stage for understanding the subsequent developments that unfolded over the ensuing twelve months.

 Fast forward a year, and the financial tableau has witnessed a significant transformation. The total foreign debt has not merely undergone an incremental change but has rather surged to a noteworthy 9 thousand 894 million dollars. This surge, encapsulating a robust increase in the realm of 39 thousand crores, compels us to scrutinize the underlying factors that fueled this elevation, particularly considering the backdrop of considerable repayments made during this period.

The pivotal insights into this financial metamorphosis are derived from a meticulous examination of a central bank research report, serving as a reliable compass navigating us through the labyrinth of economic data. This authoritative source not only validates the numerical shifts but also offers a panoramic view of the nuanced dynamics at play within Bangladesh’s foreign debt landscape.

Within this context, the report unfurls a narrative of juxtaposition – the delicate equilibrium between long-term and short-term loans. This balance is not merely a numerical interplay but represents a profound shift in the structural composition of the nation’s debt portfolio. The report articulates a discernible change in the proportions and allocations between long-term and short-term loans, hinting at a recalibration in the risk and commitment profiles associated with these financial instruments.

The historical trajectory, therefore, emerges not as a linear progression but rather as a tapestry woven with intricate patterns of economic decisions, global influences, and domestic imperatives. Understanding this historical context is paramount to deciphering the intricacies of Bangladesh’s financial journey, providing valuable insights that extend beyond the numerical crescendo of a 39 thousand crore surge in foreign debt. It serves as a foundation for comprehending the factors shaping the nation’s fiscal resilience, offering a nuanced perspective that transcends the immediacy of statistical values.

Changes in Debt Composition:

A critical facet of Bangladesh’s economic narrative lies in the transformative shifts witnessed in the composition of its foreign debt, as articulated in the central bank’s research report. This metamorphosis not only involves numerical fluctuations but also unveils a recalibration in the very structural foundations of the nation’s financial commitments. 

As of June last year (2022), the tapestry of foreign debt featured long-term debt woven into the fabric at a substantial 7,480 million dollars. Fast-forwarding to June this year, a mere twelve months later, the landscape has undergone a discernible evolution. Long-term debt, once a component of considerable financial magnitude, has now expanded to a noteworthy 8 thousand 290 billion dollars. This impressive surge of 810 million dollars within a year paints a vivid picture of the dynamic forces shaping the nature and quantum of Bangladesh’s long-term financial obligations.

Conversely, the short-term loans, which held a considerable share in the financial portfolio, experienced a contrasting trajectory. In June last year, they amounted to $2,650 million, reflecting a snapshot of the nation’s immediate financial commitments. However, traversing the temporal expanse of twelve months, these short-term loans witnessed a notable decrease, dwindling down to 1 thousand 603 million dollars. This reduction, while emblematic of a strategic shift in the immediacy of financial obligations, beckons us to delve deeper into the implications of the evolving debt composition.

The diminution in short-term debt is not merely a numerical adjustment; it implies a conscious recalibration in the risk profile and maturity timelines associated with Bangladesh’s financial engagements. Short-term loans, often indicative of immediate financial requirements, have witnessed a strategic reduction, suggesting a deliberate effort to manage and mitigate short-term financial pressures. This strategic maneuver, while reflective of prudent financial planning, does not unfold without its own set of concerns.

The ascent of long-term debt to a more prominent role in the overall composition introduces a layer of complexity. While long-term debt may provide a more extended horizon for repayment, it also commits the nation to sustained financial engagements over an extended period. This shift necessitates a vigilant assessment of the potential ramifications, especially in a global economic landscape characterized by volatility and uncertainty.

In essence, the changes in debt composition underscore a nuanced dance between immediate financial exigencies and the enduring commitments shaping Bangladesh’s economic resilience. Beyond the numerical ebbs and flows, this recalibration offers a glimpse into the strategic financial decisions steering the nation’s course, inviting stakeholders and observers alike to contemplate the implications of this evolving financial narrative.

Dollar Crisis and Repayment Pressures:

In the intricate dance of global finance, Bangladesh has found itself navigating the challenging terrain of a persistent dollar crisis over the past eighteen months. This complex scenario, as per authoritative sources, has been exacerbated by the necessity for short-term foreign debt repayments, casting a shadow over the nation’s economic stability. The nuanced interplay of factors within this economic landscape demands scrutiny to comprehend the implications, challenges, and mitigating measures.

Short-term foreign debt repayments have emerged as a pivotal catalyst in the intensification of the dollar crisis. The immediate nature of these financial obligations, coupled with the uncertainties of global economic conditions, has posed formidable challenges to Bangladesh’s financial resilience. As short-term debt repayments take precedence, the demand for dollars surges, exerting pressure on the nation’s foreign exchange reserves and, subsequently, contributing to the perceived crisis.

Paradoxically, while the overall short-term debt has witnessed a reduction, the concomitant increase in long-term debt introduces a nuanced layer to the narrative. Long-term debt commitments, often extending over an extended period, raise concerns about the sustained strain on the availability of dollars for future repayments. This dynamic shift prompts a critical examination of the balancing act required to manage immediate financial imperatives against the potential challenges posed by protracted financial engagements.

 In the face of these complexities, the central bank emerges as a pivotal player, charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the nation’s economic interests. Despite the evident challenges, the central bank remains cautiously optimistic, asserting that the flow of dollars in the market has experienced an augmentation. This assertion carries the promise of alleviating earlier deficits and mitigating the potential strain on the dollar.

The optimism expressed by the central bank warrants scrutiny, not just as a reassurance but as an indicator of the comprehensive measures being undertaken to address the challenges posed by the dollar crisis. Efforts to enhance the inflow of dollars, stabilize the foreign exchange reserves, and implement strategic financial instruments are likely part of a broader strategy to alleviate the immediate pressures while fortifying the nation against potential future shocks.

The dollar crisis and repayment pressures underscore the delicate balance that Bangladesh must strike in managing its foreign debt dynamics. While the reduction in short-term debt signals prudence in navigating immediate challenges, the rise in long-term debt emphasizes the importance of sustainable and strategic financial planning. As Bangladesh continues its journey through the currents of global finance, the central bank’s optimism and proactive measures become pivotal in steering the ship of economic stability through the challenges that lie ahead.

Impact on Economic Growth:

The correlation between foreign debt and economic growth is a nuanced aspect that demands meticulous examination, and recent trends in Bangladesh underscore the complexity of this relationship. Despite a notable surge in foreign debt, the nation’s growth rate has exhibited signs of deceleration. This divergence between increasing debt burdens and a tempered growth trajectory prompts a closer look at the intricate dynamics shaping Bangladesh’s economic landscape.

 In June 2021, the total debt accrued by Bangladesh bore witness to a substantial growth rate, surpassing 19 percent. However, as the economic narrative unfolded, this growth rate witnessed a contraction, dipping to 17 percent by June of the following year. The most recent data, reflecting the scenario as of June this year, illuminates a further reduction in the growth rate, settling at a modest 3.70 percent. These numerical shifts encapsulate the ebb and flow of economic dynamics, providing valuable insights into the multifaceted interplay between foreign debt and overall economic growth.

The apparent paradox of escalating foreign debt amidst a slowing growth rate raises pertinent questions about the factors mitigating the anticipated impact on the broader economy. While conventional wisdom might suggest that a surge in debt could act as a drag on economic growth, the nuanced reality in Bangladesh reveals a more intricate narrative.

One plausible explanation for this apparent anomaly lies in the composition of the debt and its allocation across various sectors of the economy. The increased long-term debt, for instance, may be channeled into strategic projects and investments that contribute to economic development over an extended period. The benefits derived from such long-term investments might not be immediately evident, contributing to a lag in the translation of debt into tangible economic growth.

Moreover, the reduction in short-term debt, despite its contribution to the alleviation of immediate financial pressures, might signal a contraction in immediate economic activities. Short-term debt is often associated with funding ongoing operational expenses and projects, and its decrease could potentially impact the pace of economic activities in the short term.

The intricate dance between debt and economic growth is further nuanced by external factors such as global economic conditions, trade dynamics, and the efficacy of domestic policy measures. Bangladesh’s resilience in the face of increasing foreign debt, as reflected in the moderated growth rate, suggests a complex interplay of factors contributing to economic stability. 

In conclusion, the impact of rising foreign debt on economic growth is a multifaceted puzzle, and Bangladesh’s experience adds a layer of complexity to this global phenomenon. While the growth rate has decelerated, the mitigating factors at play unveil a story of strategic financial planning, sectoral allocations, and the broader economic resilience of the nation. As Bangladesh continues to navigate the intricate landscape of global finance, the delicate equilibrium between foreign debt and economic growth remains a focal point for policymakers, economists, and observers alike.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Trends:

In the intricate tapestry of economic indicators, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) emerges as a critical thread, weaving together the story of a nation’s attractiveness to global capital. The latest report meticulously unravels the trends in FDI, casting a spotlight on Bangladesh’s evolving position in the eyes of international investors. As the data unfolds, a nuanced narrative emerges, signaling both challenges and opportunities within the realm of foreign direct investment.

According to the report, the fiscal year 2021-22 witnessed a recalibration in FDI inflows, registering a total of 3.44 billion dollars. This figure, while substantial, reveals a 5.52 percent decrease compared to the preceding year. The dip in FDI inflows prompts an exploration into the underlying factors influencing the investment landscape and invites a closer examination of the components shaping this nuanced economic indicator.

Notably, the composition of the FDI reveals a distinctive pattern, shedding light on the nature of the investments pouring into Bangladesh. Of the total FDI, a mere $800 million represents capital directly injected from abroad. This modest proportion, in the broader context of the FDI landscape, beckons a deeper inquiry into the origins and motivations behind foreign capital infusion into the country.

A noteworthy revelation from the report is the predominant role played by reinvested profits from foreign companies and inter-company loans within the overall FDI framework. The lion’s share of the FDI, rather than originating as fresh capital from external sources, is channeled back into the country as reinvested profits. This strategic financial maneuver signifies a level of confidence and commitment from foreign companies already operating within Bangladesh. It also underscores the importance of inter-company financial interactions as a conduit for foreign funds into the nation.

The decrease in FDI, coupled with the shift in its composition, prompts a reflection on the factors influencing investor sentiment. Global economic uncertainties, geopolitical considerations, and the evolving competitive landscape are potential variables that merit consideration in understanding the nuanced FDI trends observed in Bangladesh. Moreover, the reliance on reinvested profits and inter-company loans suggests a degree of caution among foreign investors, potentially reflecting a preference for established operations over fresh ventures.

While the decrease in FDI may raise eyebrows, it is crucial to view this trend within the broader context of global economic conditions. Many nations grapple with fluctuating FDI inflows, influenced by a myriad of factors beyond their control. Bangladesh’s ability to adapt, attract, and retain foreign capital will be pivotal in navigating the dynamic currents of the global economy.

In conclusion, the report on FDI trends serves as a valuable compass, guiding stakeholders in understanding the intricacies of Bangladesh’s economic landscape. Beyond the numerical values, it unravels a tale of resilience, adaptability, and the imperative for strategic policy measures to sustain and enhance the nation’s appeal to global investors. As Bangladesh positions itself on the global economic stage, the evolving FDI trends provide invaluable insights into the nation’s economic narrative.

Bangladeshi Entrepreneurs Abroad:

Beyond the confines of domestic economic landscapes, the footprint of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs extends to global arenas, contributing to the intricate web of international business dynamics. The latest assessment of the investment status of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs abroad presents a nuanced chapter in the unfolding narrative of the nation’s economic prowess. As the report unfurls, it reveals a subtle shift, indicating a slight decline in the investment status of these entrepreneurs – a movement from 400 million dollars in June last year to 380 million dollars in June this year.

This dip of 2 million dollars, seemingly modest in numerical terms, encapsulates a multifaceted story reflecting the challenges and opportunities faced by Bangladeshi entrepreneurs as they navigate the complexities of international markets. Beyond the numerical decline lies a deeper exploration of the factors contributing to this nuanced aspect of Bangladesh’s economic dynamics beyond its borders.

Several factors may contribute to this marginal decrease in the investments of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs abroad. Global economic uncertainties, changes in regulatory environments in host countries, and the evolving landscape of international business could play pivotal roles in shaping the investment decisions of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs. Additionally, geopolitical considerations, market dynamics, and sector-specific challenges may contribute to the ebb and flow of investments in overseas ventures.

This decline in investment status should not be viewed in isolation but rather as a snapshot within the broader context of global economic flux. Entrepreneurs, by nature, are adaptive and responsive to changing conditions. The nuanced decrease might reflect a strategic reassessment by Bangladeshi entrepreneurs in response to the prevailing economic conditions or a deliberate reallocation of resources in pursuit of more favorable opportunities.

Furthermore, this subtle decline highlights the interconnectedness of Bangladesh with the global economy. As the world undergoes transformations, Bangladeshi entrepreneurs are compelled to recalibrate their strategies and adapt to the evolving landscape of international commerce. The 2 million dollar dip, therefore, is not just a numerical adjustment but a testament to the resilience and strategic acumen of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs in navigating the uncertainties of the global business arena.

It is crucial to note that economic dynamics beyond borders are inherently dynamic, and fluctuations in investment statuses are part and parcel of the ever-changing global business landscape. As Bangladeshi entrepreneurs continue to chart their course on the international stage, the nuanced aspects of these investments provide valuable insights into the adaptive nature of the nation’s economic agents.

In conclusion, the slight decline in the investment status of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs abroad encapsulates a chapter in the evolving story of Bangladesh’s economic engagement with the world. This narrative extends beyond numerical values, offering a glimpse into the strategic decision-making of entrepreneurs and the resilience of Bangladesh within the broader canvas of global economic currents.


As Bangladesh stands at the crossroads of economic evolution, the confluence of increasing foreign debt, shifts in debt composition, and fluctuating Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) trends demands a comprehensive understanding of the nation’s economic landscape. The intricacies embedded within these dynamics underscore the need for vigilance and strategic planning to navigate the challenges and harness the opportunities that lie ahead.


The surge in foreign debt by 39 thousand crores over the past year, totaling 3.49 billion dollars, paints a complex picture. While these financial commitments represent a necessary catalyst for economic growth and development, a delicate balance must be maintained to prevent an undue burden on the nation’s economic stability. The central bank’s optimism about the flow of dollars in the market and the perceived impact of long-term debt introduces an element of assurance. However, it is incumbent upon stakeholders to approach this optimism with a measured vigilance, recognizing the potential challenges that may accompany a heightened debt burden.


The recalibration in the composition of debt, with a noticeable increase in long-term commitments and a reduction in short-term obligations, adds a layer of complexity to Bangladesh’s economic narrative. The strategic shift in debt structure necessitates ongoing scrutiny to ensure that the nation’s financial engagements align with sustainable economic development goals. As long-term debt assumes a more prominent role, the potential strain on the availability of dollars for future repayments requires careful consideration, emphasizing the importance of proactive economic management.


Foreign Direct Investment, a vital indicator of global confidence in Bangladesh’s economic potential, reflects a nuanced narrative. The decrease in FDI inflows by 5.52 percent in the fiscal year 2021-22 beckons attention to the factors influencing investor sentiment. The predominance of reinvested profits and inter-company loans within the total FDI underscores the importance of understanding not only the quantum of investments but also their nature and origin. This trend prompts an exploration of the structural underpinnings of the nation’s attractiveness to global investors.


As Bangladesh continues its economic journey, the intricate dance between short-term and long-term debt, coupled with the dynamics of FDI, will likely shape the nation’s trajectory in the coming years. The interplay of these economic forces necessitates not only astute financial management but also a proactive approach to policy-making. As stakeholders navigate this complex terrain, the lessons drawn from the nuanced interactions between debt and investment trends will inform strategic decisions, contributing to the resilience and adaptability of Bangladesh’s economy.


In conclusion, a nuanced understanding of Bangladesh’s economic landscape is paramount as the nation charts its course in an ever-evolving global economy. The coming years will undoubtedly be shaped by the delicate balance struck between financial commitments, investor confidence, and the pursuit of sustainable economic growth. As Bangladesh seeks to harness its economic potential, the lessons learned from the current economic dynamics will be instrumental in steering the nation toward prosperity and resilience in the face of global uncertainties.

Billal Hossain
Billal Hossain
Billal Hossain, a seasoned professional with a Master's degree in Mathematics, has built a rich and varied career as a banker, economist, and anti-money laundering expert. His journey in the financial sector has seen him in leading roles, notably in AL-Rajhi Banking Inc. in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and as Foreign Relations and Correspondent Maintenance Officer of Bank-AL-Bilad. Beyond the confines of traditional finance, Billal has emerged as a prominent writer and commentator, contributing thought-provoking columns and theses to various newspapers and online portals. His expertise spans a wide range of important global issues, including the complexities of economics, political dynamics, the plight of migrant workers, remittances, reserves, and other interrelated aspects. Billal brings a unique analytical perspective to his writing, combining academic rigor with practical insights gained from his banking career. His articles not only demonstrate a deep understanding of complex issues but also provide readers with informed perspectives, bridging the gap between theory and real-world application. Billal Hossain's contributions stand as a testament to his commitment to unraveling the complexities of our interconnected world, providing valuable insights that contribute to a broader and more nuanced understanding of the global economic landscape.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular Articles