- Population: 158.2 million (8th largest in the world) where nearly 60% being under 25 years,
3% over 65
- Land Area: 147,570 sq km
- Main Cities: Dhaka (13 million), Chittagong (5 million)
- Languages: 95% Bangla, English widely spoken
- Ethnically homogeneous: 98.9% Bengalis
- Religiously homogeneous: 98.7% Muslim, 9.2% Hindu, 1% Buddhist and Christians
- Total adult literacy rate: 54% Youth (15-24 years) literacy rate 72% (UNICEF 2007 stats)
Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. Located in the Bengal region, it shares borders with India and Burma (Myanmar), and has its coastline on the Bay of Bengal. With a population of approximately 156.6 million as on 2013-14, and an economy on growth path, Bangladesh has been listed in the “Next 11 after BRIC” in Goldman Sachs analyst reports1, while JP Morgan has included Bangladesh in the “Frontier Five” economies2. Credit rating agency Standard and Poor (S&P) and Moody’s have also placed Bangladesh ahead of all countries in South Asia, except India. The business climate in Bangladesh is on an upswing.
Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign country in 1971 following a nine month war of liberation with Pakistan, faced several obstructions to growth, such as widespread poverty and natural disasters, as well as political turmoil and military coups which had strained the growth of the Bangladeshi economy. Yet, despite such prevailing economic turmoil, Bangladesh has remained resilient with an optimistic approach towards positive economic growth. Traditionally an agrarian economy, Bangladesh has established itself as the Textile and readymade Garment powerhouse of the world, with almost all major global apparel brands sourcing from Bangladesh.
The global economic downturn during 2007-2009 had some degree of negative impact on Bangladesh economy. The economy had experienced modest fall of GDP growth during the period. The GDP grew at a rate of 6.19 percent in FY200708 and 5.74 percent in FY2008-09. In the wake of global recovery, the economy of Bangladesh rebounded and recorded 6.07 percent growth in FY2009-10.
According to the provisional estimate of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), GDP has posted a growth rate of 6.66 percent in FY2012-13. This performance is mainly attributable to the sustained growth in agriculture sector coupled with recovery of growth in industry sector and the satisfactory performance of service sector.
In recent times, with the relative improvement in the socio-political situation of Bangladesh, Bangladesh’s economy has portrayed a strong upward trend with the value of GDP at current market prices reaching TK. 7,87,495 crore in FY2012-13, which was 13.42% higher than the GDP of previous year (TK.6,94,324 crore). In FY 2012-13, the per capita GDP was estimated at TK. 53,236 which was 11.99% higher than the per capita GDP of TK. 47,536 a year earlier. On the other hand, per capita national income stood at TK. 57,652 in FY2012-13, which was TK. 51,959 in the previous fiscal year. The FDI into Bangladesh was 913 million USD in 2012, almost doubling in the last 7 years, and showing a robust growth from USD700 million in 2011.
With the economy gradually opening up, significant spending on numerous infrastructure development projects in terms of roads, power, port and rural development have complimented the high GDP growth rates experienced by Bangladesh.
The Economic Indicator Table
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