The Bangladesh Bank has awarded 28 individuals who sent the highest amount of remittance back home last year.
The main three categories for individuals are specialist professionals, general professionals and businessmen.
Of the top remitters, eight live in the UAE, four in Singapore, three in Kuwait. The remaining ones live in the USA, the UK, Germany, Qatar, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Canada, Afghanistan and Somalia.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal handed over the awards at a function at the Institute of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh in the city, on Monday.
Mustafa Kamal said, "You (expatriates) are the main driving force of our economy."
Other sectors may move in a negative direction in the future, but the remittance sector will never move in that direction, he said.
From July 2019, the government has started giving two percent cash incentive on money remitted by expatriate Bangladeshis.
Therefore, the minister said he expects to receive $20 billion in remittance this year. In the last fiscal, the country received $16 billion in remittance.
Five local banks, and three money changers owned by expatriates were also honoured for their role in bringing the remittance.
The five banks are Islami Bank Bangladesh, Agrani Bank, Sonali Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank, and Janata Bank.
The money changers are the National Exchange Company SRL of Italy, NEC Money Transfer of the UK, and Placid NK Corporation of the USA.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir, Senior Secretary to the Financial Institutions Division Asadul Islam, and Secretary to the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry Md Selim Reza, attended the function as special guests.
In 2017, the central bank awarded 29 individuals and five banks. The BB introduced the award in 2014 to recognise remitters for their contribution to the economy and encourage expatriates to send more money through formal banking channels.