The external debt/GDP ratio reaches 21.8%

| Update:
May 19, 2022 10:25:16 p.m.

The country’s external debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio rose to 21.8% in the last calendar year or 2021, according to updated central bank statistics. The ratio was 19.5% in 2020.

Central bank statistics also showed that external debt to gross national income (GNI) reached 24.10% at the end of 2021, down from 21.50% in 2020.

According to the latest statistics released this week, the total stock of external debt reached 90.79 billion dollars at the end of the last calendar year, registering a growth of 24.50% compared to the same period of the previous year or 2020.

Of the total external debt, the long-term debt was 80.10% or $72.70 billion while the short-term debt was 19.90% or $18.09 billion.

The semi-annual report entitled “Foreign direct investment and external debt: July-December 2021” contains details on debt statistics.

According to the report, about 75% of the total external debt is in the public sector, while the remaining 25% is in the private sector.

“For Bangladesh, external debt is one of the main financial sources of investment,” the report said. “Bangladesh’s external debt is the total debt the country owes to foreign creditors. The debtors can be the central government, public enterprises, private sector enterprises of Bangladesh.

He also revealed that the ratio of foreign exchange reserves to total external debt fell to 50.8 percent last year from 59.2 percent in 2020.

Moreover, Bangladesh’s per capita external debt rose to $536.24 last year from $435.31 in 2020.

According to the report, the country’s external debt includes money owed to private commercial banks, foreign governments or international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

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Shirlene J. Manley