What Is BDT (Bangladesh Taka)?

BDT is the currency abbreviation or currency symbol for the Bangladesh taka (BDT), the currency for Bangladesh. The Bangladesh taka is made up of 100 poisha and is often presented with the symbol ó, ò, or Tk.

The word "taka" originated from ancient denominations of silver coins called tanka.

Key Takeaways

  • BDT is the currency symbol used for the Bangladesh Taka in forex quotes
  • The exchange rate between taka and U.S. Dollars or euros has stabilized in recent years compared to previous decades
  • The central bank of Bangladesh controls larger banknotes, while the country's Ministry of Finance controls the smaller denominations of the currency.

How BDT (Bangladesh Taka) is Used

BDT as the currency symbol for the Bangladesh taka is used in foreign exchange markets (forex) to exchange taka for units of other currency such as U.S. Dollars. The exchange rate between these two currencies is expressed as a ratio and often written that way (USD/BDT). Obtaining quotes for the exchange rate of the taka compared to any other currency would include using BDT as part of the quoted ratio. For example EUR/BDT specifies the quoted rate for exchanging taka to euros.

The exchange rate for BDT to major currencies had historically shown a declining trend reflecting the weakening of that currency. However in the decade from 2010 to 2020, the trend stabilized into a range between 74 and 84 BDT to 1 USD, and 83 to 108 BDT to 1 EUR. The predictability of these ranges has undoubtedly helped the country improve its chances for foreign investment. Which in turn has greatly increased the productivity of the garment and pharmaceutical industries operating in the country.

These industries account for a large number of jobs that include a substantial proportion of the 82 percent participation rate of men in the workforce and 36 percent of women. During that decade the GDP grew by 5 to 8 percent a year, outpacing local inflation and increasing local purchasing power for most of the decade.

Large Bangladesh banknotes are controlled by the Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh, while the smaller denominations are the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance. 

The Bangladesh taka was first seen in 1972 after Bangladesh won its independence in the Bangladesh Liberation War. It replaced the Pakistan rupee with an exchange of one for one. Between inception and 1987 there was reduction in value relative to the U.S. dollar. In 1974, in an attempt to offset this, the Bangladesh government started using the International Monetary Fund's compensatory financing facility. By 1987 the devaluation was relatively under control.

In 2011, the Bangladesh Bank introduced a 40 BDT note to commemorate the Victory Anniversary of Bangladesh. The notes featured the first prime minister and first president of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. 

History of BDT

Prior to independence, State Bank of Pakistan banknotes circulated throughout Bangladesh, and continued to be used for about three months until the official introduction of the BDT. During the war, it was an unofficial practice of some Bengali nationalists to protest Pakistani rule by stamping banknotes with "বাংলা দেশ" and "BANGLA DESH" as two words in either Bangla or English. These locally produced stamps are known to exist in several varieties, as are forgeries. On 8 June 1971, the Pakistani government declared that all banknotes bearing such stamps ceased to be legal tender.

Despite its plight against the U.S. dollar, its value has remained steady against the neighboring Indian Rupee (INR).