External debt to GDP ratio reaches 21.8pc
The ratio of the country’s external debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased to 21.8 per cent in the last calendar year or 2021, according to the updated statistics of the central bank. The ratio was 19.5 per cent in 2020.
Central bank statistics also showed that the external debt to Gross National Income (GNI) reached at 24.10 per cent at the end of 2021 which was 21.50 per cent in 2020.
According to the latest statistics, released this week, total outstanding stock of the external debt reached at US$90.79 billion at the end of the last calendar year, recording 24.50 per cent growth over the same period of previous year or 2020.
Of the total external debt, long-term debt was 80.10 per cent or $72.70 billion while short-term debt was 19.90 per cent or $18.09 billion.
The half-yearly report titled ‘Foreign Direct Investment and External Debt: July-December 2021’ contains details of the debt statistics.
According to the report, around 75 per cent of the total external debt is in the public sector while the rest 25 per cent in the private sector.
“For Bangladesh, external debt is one of the important financial sources for investment,” said the report. “The external debt of Bangladesh is the total debt which the country owes to foreign creditors. The debtors can be the central government, state owned enterprises, private sector enterprises of Bangladesh.”
It also revealed that the ratio of foreign exchange reserves to total external debt fell to 50.8 per cent in the last year from 59.2 per cent in 2020.
Moreover, per head foreign debt in Bangladesh increased to $536.24 in the last year which was $435.31 in 2020.
According to the report, the country’s foreign debt includes money owed to private commercial banks, foreign governments, or international financial institutions such as International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.