Implementation of Crawling Peg in Bangladesh Economy

Publish: 12:43 AM, May 19, 2024 | Update: 12:43 AM, May 19, 2024

Md. Parvez Mahmud Niloy : In recent years, Bangladesh’s economic trajectory has shown impressive advancements. Keeping an eye on the value of the Bangladeshi taka (BDT), the country’s currency, has become a key policy priority as it aims for further development and integration into the international economy. Bangladesh recently made a big adjustment to its currency rate structure by adopting a crawling peg system. This adjustment signals a more flexible approach to negotiating the complexity of the global financial landscape and marks a break from earlier attempts to maintain a fixed exchange rate.

 A crawling peg permits some controlled fluctuation, in contrast to a fixed exchange rate system where the taka would be tied to a certain value, usually the US dollar (USD). The Bangladesh Bank has set a central value, and the BDT can now trade within a predetermined band around it. This establishes a buffer zone that provides some stability for both domestic and foreign economic actors while reducing abrupt and possibly unstable variations in the value of the taka. Consider a seesaw, in which the band denotes the permitted range of motion on either side and the central value serves as the equilibrium. This adaptability keeps the taka from experiencing excessive volatility while enabling it to react to market factors to some extent.

 In response to current economic issues, the government has decided to put the crawling peg system into effect. A number of factors have combined to put pressure on the value of the taka. Foreign exchange reserves in the nation are under pressure due to an expanding trade deficit, which occurs when imports are worth more than exports. This basically indicates that Bangladesh is losing foreign currency since it is spending more on imports than it is bringing in from exports. Furthermore, the situation has become more complex due to uncertainty in the global economy and volatility in the value of the US dollar. The Bangladesh Bank searched for a more adaptable strategy that could take into account these dynamic market factors because a fixed exchange rate regime found it difficult to adjust to these outside demands.

Benefits of the Crawling Peg: A Multifaceted Approach

The crawling peg offers several potential advantages for Bangladesh’s economy, aiming to achieve a balance between stability and adaptability. As previously mentioned, the taka’s established range of possible fluctuations serves to reduce the likelihood of abrupt devaluations. This is especially helpful when there is a lot of inflation or uncertainty in the economy since it keeps the value of the taka from falling suddenly and perhaps unstable. Consider a situation in which there is a lot of inflation, which drives up the cost of imported items. In a system with a fixed exchange rate, the government’s financial reserves may be strained if it must spend a sizable amount on maintaining the peg. A crawling peg, on the other hand, allows the taka to gradually weaken within the band, which raises the cost of imports while simultaneously assisting in the maintenance of foreign reserves. The crawling peg allows for a more controlled depreciation of the taka over time. The exports from Bangladesh may remain competitive in the international market thanks to this gradual transition.

This is how it operates: For consumers abroad, Bangladeshi goods become comparatively more affordable as the taka depreciates. This would encourage foreign businesses to buy more goods from Bangladesh, increasing export revenue and creating desperately needed foreign exchange reserves. Unlike a sharp devaluation, this slowdown gives Bangladeshi companies more time to modify their production costs and plans.

 The foreign exchange market is more transparent due to the crawling peg mechanism. Now, both individuals and businesses may predict the possible range in which the taka will trade. Making better-informed decisions about imports, exports, and foreign exchange investments is made possible by this stability. Consider a business owner whose products require the importation of raw materials. They can better anticipate possible variations in the exchange rate and adjust their financial plans if there is a crawling peg system in place.

 The Bangladesh Bank has more control over the exchange rate because of the crawling peg mechanism. The central bank can try to meet its long-term economic objectives by gradually altering the band’s width and the central rate. This adaptability is essential in the dynamic global economy.

The implementation of a crawling peg system in Bangladesh has the potential to impact various sectors of the economy, with both positive and negative consequences. As for the positives, businesses involved in international trade will benefit from a more predictable exchange rate. This allows for better planning and budgeting as the Taka’s fluctuations are minimized. A weaker BDT (if the peg depreciates the currency) can make Bangladeshi exports cheaper globally, potentially increasing export volumes and foreign currency earnings. It will also give some flexibility to the monetary policy as Bangladesh Bank might have more freedom to manage interest rates. This could allow them to focus on controlling domestic inflation without being limited by exchange rate defense.

As for the negatives, a weaker BDT can also lead to increased import costs. This puts upward pressure on domestic prices for consumers and businesses reliant on imports, potentially fueling inflation and reducing purchasing power. If there’s a perception that the Taka will continue to depreciate, investors might be discouraged from holding Bangladeshi assets. This could lead to capital flight (money moving out of the country) and reduced foreign investment. The success of the crawling peg hinges on the Bangladesh Bank’s ability to manage it effectively. Poor adjustments could lead to unintended consequences like overvaluation or undervaluation of the Taka.

All in all, the crawling peg if done right, can be a gamechanger for the economy of the country in these dire conditions. It will bring more stability to businesses and potentially boost exports. However, it also carries the risk of inflation, capital flight, and thus will require careful management by the central bank. So, the government must be alert and very conscious about implementing and maintaining crawling peg in the economy fully.


Department of Mass Communication and Journalism

University of Dhaka