In Bangladesh, among the various modes of transport, road transport system has been playing a significant role in transporting passengers and goods. As of January 2010, Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) has so far constructed a total of 133,514 km3 (64,691 km dirt road and 68,823 km paved roads) upazila and union roads and 971,498 bridges/culverts.
The Civil Aviation Authority is a public sector entity entrusted to construct, maintain and supervise airports and regulates air traffic. There are 13 operational airports at present and Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) ports in Bangladesh. These are Dhaka, Barisal, Chittagong, Comilla, Cox's Bazaar, Ishurdi, Jessore, Rajshahi, Syedpur, Sylhet and Thakurgaon. Of these, the airports at Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet serve international routes.
About 32% of the total area of Bangladesh is effectively covered by railways. Bangladesh Railway had a total network of 2,835.04 km (Broad Gauge 659.33 km, Dual Gauge 374.83 km and Meter Gauge-1,800.88 km) and a total of 440 stations at the end of the year 2008-2009.
The landscape of Bangladesh is dominated by about 250 major rivers which flow essentially north-south. Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has been established by the government for maintenance of navigability of ports and channels while the state-owned BIWTC provides passenger and cargo services in inland waterways and coastal areas of the country. The entire coast along the Bay of Bengal is 710 km long. There are two major ports in the country. Chittagong, the oldest port, has been an entry-port for at least 1,000 years. The Mongla port in Khulna region serves the western part of Bangladesh.
Current Key Sectors for Investment
According to Board of Investment, Bangladesh, most dynamic sectors for Bangladesh now include Agribusiness, Life Sciences, IT/ITeS, Power sector, Garments and Textiles.
Bangladesh is predominantly dependent on agriculture. About 84% of the total population lives in rural areas and are directly or indirectly engaged in agricultural or agriculture allied activities. Agriculture contributes about 20.29%4 to the country’s GDP. About 43.6% of the labor force is employed in agriculture.
The abundance of natural resources available in Bangladesh supports a range of highly profitable investment opportunities in agribusiness. Over 90 varieties of vegetable are grown in Bangladesh, yet in this fertile land there is underutilization of the country’s agricultural capacity. This presents many opportunities for investors seeking to export agricultural products, or to meet the rapidly growing local demand.