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Overview of Bangladesh


Key Facts


  • 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)


Economic scenario


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


Connectivity Infrastructure 


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.


Investment opportunity:

► Cold storage facilities serving the supply chain, especially fresh produce for export

► Fresh produce production for local and export markets

► Production of fertilizers and cultivation of seeds

► Eco-friendly jute production, supported by jute technology development institutes

► Meat and meat products

► Milk and dairy products

► High value-added foods for export, including herbs, spices, nuts and pulses 


Industry incentives

► The Equity Entrepreneurship Fund for development of agribusiness industry

► Special loan facilities available to set up an agribusiness

► Tax holidays

► Investment in this sector will enjoy similar tax benefits as available in other sectors

► Imposition of supplementary duty on mango, orange, grape, apples, dates and others to utilize the high quality and cheaper local resources

► Cash incentives to the exporters ranges from 15-20% in various sub-sectors 


Garments and Textile 

The textiles and clothing industry is Bangladesh’s biggest export earner with value of over US$ 16 billion of exports in 201213. This rapidly growing sector of the economy offers a unique competitive edge that supports expansion into new strategic markets. Bilateral agreements with 28 countries and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) of the EU are key reasons for Bangladesh (Ready-Made Garments) RMG products having access to global markets. 

This sector now employs over 50% of the industrial workforce and accounts for 77% of the total export earnings of the country in 2012-13. The growing trend in the textile and the garments sector means that Bangladesh is perfectly positioned to appeal to foreign investors.  

Investment opportunity: 

► Historically the Bangladesh RMG industry has depended largely on imported yarns and fabrics and produced only 10% of the export-quality cloth used by the garments industry. The need for establishment of backward-linkage industry has become an immediate concern to the government and the exporters and there are enormous opportunities to set up a composite textiles industry combining textile, yarn and garments.

► The government has created a highly favorable policy framework for investment in these sectors offering investors the following choices:

► Establishment of new textile/RMG mill in the private sector

► Private parties as concessionaire with the existing textile/RMG mill

► Acquisition of public sector textile mills that are being privatized

► Indirect investment through financial services and/or leasing 

Industry incentives:

► Backward linkage is a significant trading opportunity and is supported by a government backed incentive: 15% cash subsidy of the fabric cost to exporters sourcing fabrics locally.

► The government is also supporting spinners by providing lower tariffs for machinery spares and raw materials, cash incentives, reduced tax rate, and low-cost funding etc.

Power Industry

Bangladesh is progressing phase of development where automation is the key to its economy and business. As the country continues to industrialize the importance of power generation and electricity supply becomes a key government priority. Public and private sector produces 63% and 37% of electricity respectively. Public sector produces electricity through Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), Ashuganj Power Station Company LTD (APSCL) and Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (EGCB). On the other hand, private sector produces power through small independent power producers and rental that government buys at a constant price. 

Investment opportunity: 

At present, 48.5% of the total population of Bangladesh has electricity supply.  As of April 2010, the total length of transmission and distribution lines is 8,359 km and 266,460 km respectively. However, 53,281 villages have been electrified so far. In Bangladesh per capita generation is 220 KW hr which is comparatively lower than other developed countries in the world. The government has set the goal of providing electricity to all citizens by 2021; hence it provides immense opportunity for both private investors and foreign investors to invest in power sector.  


Industry incentives for private power companies:

► Exemption from corporate income tax for a period of 15 years

► Allowed to import plant and equipment and spare parts up to a maximum of ten percent (10%) of the original value of total plant and equipment within a period of twelve (12) years of commercial operation without payment of customs duties, VAT and any other surcharges as well as import permit fee except for indigenously produced equipment manufactured according to international standards

► Repatriation of equity along with dividends allowed freely

► Exemption from income tax for foreign lenders to such companies

► The foreign investors will be free to enter into as concessionaire but this is optional and not mandatory


Socio-economic classification of population: 


The socio-economic classification of population of Dhaka city is carried out on a yearly basis by Nielsen Bangladesh as a part of their survey report on Nielsen Media and Demographic Survey (NMDS). 

For the SEC classification purpose the following information are considered:

► Marital status

► Number of years married

► Number of children

► Family size

► Education of respondent and chief wage earner

► Occupation of respondent and chief wage earner

► Monthly Family Income (Disposable) and respondent’s personal income

► Age and sex

► Ownership of household durable

► Ownership of land (arable, homestead etc,)

► Ownership of house & types

The NMDS (National Minimum Data Set) Survey 2011 was conducted in April 2011 and a sample size of 14,400 was considered for the survey purpose. According to the survey, only 12% of the city’s population belongs to SEC A category with an average income of more than BDT 30,000 per month where as 40% of the population belongs to SEC D category having a monthly income less than BDT 6,000.  Within SEC A, the 12% of the total population may be further divided into SEC A1, A2, A3 and A4. SEC A1, represents the population earning more than BDT 150,000 per month.


Socio Economic Classification


This rage of industrial and infrastructural growth helped in creating a large reservoir of skilled and semi-skilled work force suitable for multi sectors.

Over the past few years, Bangladesh has taken bold steps towards growth in the industrial sector and there has been an influx of foreign investors into the country.

In short, Bangladesh is a country on the march. With its huge potential and large trained population base, the country is capable of lifting itself to a higher stage of economic reform; foreign exchange control is standardized, private entrepreneurship is encouraged, privatization and public private partnership is more focused, a number of incentive oriented policies have been formulated to attract foreign investors resulting into development as well as assisting other nations to cope with the manpower shortage by exporting surplus Bangladeshi manpower to those countries.



Some Infrastructure projects in Bangladesh Constructed using Local Workforce

Padma Bridge (Under Construction)
Jamuna Bridge
Hatirjheel Road Network & Water Retention
Kuril Flyover
Proposed Metro Routes
Mogbazar - Mouchak Flyover Layout
Khilgaon Flyover


Some Buildings in Bangladesh Constructed using Local Workforce



Luxurious Hotel in Bangladesh Maintained using Local Workforce


Workers of multi sector in Bangladesh


Bangladesh A Suitable Source of Manpower

Through the passage of time since the country emerged in 1971, Bangladesh was prone to overpopulation. Around the end of seventies the population of the country was looked at as problem. The Government of Bangladesh converted the problem to its power by exporting Skilled, Semi-skilled, and unskilled manpower. The country now is so mature in this field that it managed to keep a solid GDP growth, which has a massive contribution from the remittance of the exported manpower all over the world.

Bangladesh Government implemented and organized the administration of exporting manpower out of Bangladesh Ministered by the  


Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment

The ministry http://www.probashi.gov.bd/ is capable of taking care of most of the requirements of recruiting agencies and the qualified workers.

There are four government organizations under this ministry;

BMET http://www.bmet.gov.bd/BMET/index

Probashi Kalyan Bankhttp://pkb.gov.bd/

BOESL                                    http://www.boesl.org.bd/

Welfare Board                         http://www.wewb.gov.bd/



Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) was established in the year 1976 by the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh as an attached department of the then Ministry of Manpower Development and Social Welfare with specific purpose of meeting the manpower requirement of the country and for overseas employment as well. BMET is engaged for overall planning and implementation of the policies and strategies for proper utilization of manpower of the country for overseas employment.

Offices under BMET-

  • 42 District Employment and Manpower Office (DEMO)
  • 04 Divisional Employment and Manpower Office
  • 47 Technical Training Centres (TTC)
  • 04 Institute of Marine Technologies (IMTs) 03 Apprentices Training Offices

Training Courses conducted by the TTCs 

  • 02 Diploma Courses for 04 months duration
  • 04 Trade Courses for 02 years duration
  • SSC (Vocational) Courses for 02 years duration
  • Skill Certificate Course for 01 year duration
  • Short term (06/03 months duration) Courses of 48 trades
  • 02 months residential training courses for Hong Kong bound domestic female workers
  • 21 days training courses for domestic female workers
  • 07 days induction training for South Korea bound workers under Employment Permit System (EPS)
  • 03 days induction training for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) bound workers. For Detail


Probashi Kalyan Bank

Probashi Kalyan Bank was established on 12 October 2010 with a paid up capital of 100 crore taka and capital of 95 crore taka received from Wage Earner’s Welfare Fund and 5 crore taka received from the Government respectively. Honourable Prime Minister inaugurated the bank on 20 April 2011.

Objectives of Probashi Kalyan Bank

Provide collateral free loan with low interest rate for aspirant migrant workers;

  • Facilitate self-employment and encourage investment in Bangladesh by the returned migrant workers.
  • Facilitate sending remittances at low cost and faster rate with the assistance of using modern IT facilities.


Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited (BOESL) is the only "state owned" manpower exporting company in Bangladesh. The Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh established the company in 1984 to earn more foreign exchange by way of exporting skilled and unskilled manpower. Based on the operating principle ‘of right person for right job’, BOESL aims to offer transparent and efficient services as a development partner based on mutual trust and to minimize migration cost in comparison to others. To that end, BOESL is providing honest, efficient and quick services to the valued foreign employers in the field of recruitment and deployment of manpower with the full satisfaction of the foreign employers. BOESL realises service charge from the selected workers as "no profit no loss basis." This is the only company in the public sector created by the Government to operate in healthy and professional competition with other private agencies working in this sector and to ensure transparent and safe migration with low migration cost.

BOESL is run by a Board of Directors. The Directors are comprised of government officials. Secretary, Ministry of Expatriates’’ Welfare and Overseas Employment is the Chairman of the Board.

BOESL runs by its own income

It is sending workers to South Korea with a transparent recruitment process through Employment Permit System (EPS).

Female garment workers are going to Jordan by BOESL.

BOESL send professional, skill and semi-skill workers with a minimum cost in different countries.-Domestic female workers are going abroad with zero migration cost.

BOESL arranges 46,140 overseas employment up to October 2014 since its inception. For detail


Wage Earners' Welfare Board; The Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh established Wage Earners' Welfare Board (WEWB) in 1990, with the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) to extend welfare services to the migrant workers. A Board of Directors comprising of senior level inter-ministerial representatives operates this fund. Chaired by the Secretary of the  Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare & Overseas Employment, the Fund includes members from BMET, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Bangladesh Bank, WEWB, Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA).As per section 20 of the Emigration Rules, 2002, migrant workers should deposit a fixed amount of money, as shall be determined by the Government and with that money Government shall form a welfare fund. This fund being operated by the Board of Directors which is called “Wage Earners’ Welfare Board”. Migrant workers and their family members are being assisted through this fund. 

Sources of Income of Welfare Board

  • Welfare fees received from migrant workers,
  • 10% surcharge collected from consular services in overseas missions,
  • Fees from attestation of demand letters/visas,
  • Rent received from Probashi Kalyan Bhaban and interest received from investment of different financial institutions.

Services rendered from Wage Earners Welfare Fund


  • Provide pre-departure briefing regarding laws, culture, language etc. of concerned country to migrant workers.


  • Provide immigration assistance to the migrant workers at Expatriate Welfare Desk in the airport


  • Provide legal aid to migrant workers.


  • Provide assistance to return the stranded expatriate workers tot eh country.


  • Provide financial assistance to ailing and injured expatriate workers.


  • Provide financial assistance for burial and repatriation of deceased migrant workers.


  • Provide death compensation at 3 lac taka financial aid to the family of the deceased migrant workers.


  • Scholarship to the children of the migrant workers.

On top of the government effort the government approved recruiting agencies also develop themselves. They came under an association; Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA www.baira.org.bd/) and providing a much organized service now.

Education & Training Aspect

Education is given the top most priority by the policy makers of Bangladesh. Each year a huge number of school, collage, poly-technique & university graduates are being added to the nation’s workforce. Due to the slow but steady growth of the economy the country is having a large reservoir of surplus educated and trained workers.

Primary education is mandatory now. Only a small percentage of children are out of school system currently. After primary school a portion of the student drops out and start working as juvenile worker due to their social placement and need. The others continues till junior school and then goes for vocational trainings, thus another chunk of students are out. Then another group get out after the secondary level of education completing 10 years of schooling and joins the work force by completing a diploma at any poly-technical course. Then gradually others join in after completing higher secondary, bachelors or higher education as per their socio-economic status.

A large work force are being trained and turned into skilled labor through on the job training. Such sectors include construction, welding, pipe fitting, aluminum frame makers and fitters, mechanical jobs, road and riverine transportation operators, agriculture, forestry and fisheries etc.

Fluctuating economy, volatile weather condition with rain and flood in certain areas every year, and enduring low level of income created a nation which has learnt to do the best wit

the least and live joyfully under the harshest of conditions. These qualities make Bangladeshi work force an asset for those countries who are in need of affordable, hardworking, capable and well-disciplined manpower. Today more than 3 million skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers are employed by reputed organizations all over the world. These workers have been able to gain confidence of their employers for their sincerity, hard work and most of all the spirit of team work.

Cost Aspect

Among the labor exporting countries such as Sri-Lanka, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia, Bangladesh has a comparatively lower GDP. This factor combined with the fact that the human resources availability vis-à-vis low employment opportunity within the country made the wage structure of the Bangladeshi labor the lowest.

Socio-Cultural Aspect

The primary manpower importing countries over the last few decades have been the Middle Eastern Muslim countries and Malaysia which is another Muslim country. Majority of the workers of Bangladesh being Muslim, the time taken for the cultural and social adaptation in the host country is minimal. Due to the similar seasons of weather system the environmental adaptation is also very easy.

The Convenience of Mobilization

Bangladesh’s proximity to the Middle East as well as the South East Asian labor importing countries is a great advantage. The flying time from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh to most of the Middle Eastern cities is 6 hours or less. It takes only 3 and a half hour to fly to Malaysia. With 3 International Airports – Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, (DAC) Dhaka; Hazrat Shah Amanat International Airport, (CGP) Chittagong and Osmani International Airport, (ZYL) Slyhet - Bangladesh is well connected with the Middle East as well as with Malaysia and Singapore which are the manpower importing countries. This makes easy, quick and safe mobilization of work force to and from the countries. The Air lifting capacity is huge as everyday 40 flights of several airlines fly in and out of the International Airports of Bangladesh.

Airlines Flies Locally, Regionally and to the Middle Eastern Countries


Airlines Flies Regionally and to the South Asian Countries


Airlines Flies to other Countries


Type of Experience work force available

  1.  Heavy Vehicle Operator
  2.  Hospital and Clinical Personnel
  3.  Industrial Workers for Factories
  4.  Maintenance Service Worker
  5.  Oil Field Construction Worker
  6.  Office Personnel
  7.  Service Worker
  8.  Surveyor & Drafting Personnel
  9.  Sales Personnel
  10.  Ship Breakers
  11.  Telecommunication Worker
  12.  Transport Equipment Operator
  13.  Telephone Operator
  14.  Teachers & Professors
  15.  Welders
  1. Agricultural Worker
  2. Animal Husbandry Worker
  3. Administration & Management Worker
  4. Bakery Personnel
  5. Building & General Construction Worker
  6. Catering & Restaurant Workers
  7. Cleaners
  8. Doctors & Nurses
  9. Electrical & Air Conditioning Technicians
  10. Engineering Personnel
  11. Fabrication Workers
  12. Forestry Workers
  13. Fishermen
  14. Food Service Personnel
  15. Ready Made Garments Worker
  16. RMG Machine Operators



Location Map

Head Office:

House-30, Road-18, Block-A
Banani, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Email:azamhrd@yahoo.com, info@azamoverseasbd.com