Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserve hit an all-time high of 20.03 billion U.S. dollars on the back of an increase in exports and a feeble growth in imports, said an official Thursday. Badiuzzaman Dider, a senior Bangladesh Bank (BB) official, told Xinhua that "Foreign currency reserves reached a new milestone Thursday, crossing the 20 billion U.S. dollars mark." Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserve crossed the 19 billion U. S. dollars mark in February this year for the fist time, reflecting this south Asian nation's strength from the economical and financial point of view. Bangladesh's total exports in the first eight months of the current 2013-14 fiscal year reached nearly 20 billion U.S. dollars, up about 14 percent from the same period a year ago, showed the Export Promotion Bureau data. On the other hand, the BB data showed the country's import payment in the first seven months of the current fiscal year dipped 3.99 percent to 20.01 billion dollars. According to the central bank official, the Bangladesh Bank, which in the last 2012-13 fiscal year (July 2012-June 2013) had purchased around 5 billion U.S. dollars, bought around 4 billion so far this fiscal year, helping to spur the foreign exchange reserves to a new record of 19.03 billion U.S. dollars. Bangladesh, with a population of about 153 million, needs a reserve of about 10 billion U.S. dollars to meet its import bills for three months in light of an internationally accepted standard.