Bangladesh Economy

Bangladeshproudly stands as an investment destination in South Asia. The steady growth in export, hard-working labour force and committed entrepreneurs supported by the pro-business and investment policies of the present government are leading country towards a high global competence. A strong domestic demand, high export growth and continued expansion of infrastructural facilities attributed to this growth amidst the fragile pace of global economic recovery.

Sustained economic growth has rapidly increased the demand for energy, transportation and urbanization. To achieve growth aspiration of becoming upper-middle income country by its 50thbirthday in 2021, present government has taken enormous initiative for infrastructural development, expanding investments in human capital and increase female labor force participation. Improving infrastructure as well as the business climate would allow new productive sectors to develop and generate jobs.

Bangladesh’s per capita income rose to US$ 1,751 and gross domestic product (GDP) growth reached 7.86 percent in 2017-18 fiscal year. Per capita income was US$1,610 in the last fiscal year (2016-17), while the GDP growth was 7.28 percent. The growth rate of GDP in agriculture, industry and services sectors in 2017-18 was 4.19 percent, 12.06 percent and 6.39 percent respectively.

Bangladesh is known for its remarkable progress in reducing poverty and creating opportunities for its citizens. It is among the 10 fastest growing economies in the world and has made commendable progress in human development. Poverty and extreme poverty rates have come down to 21.8 percent and 11.3 percent respectively in 2018, which was 23.1 percent and 12.1 percent in 2017.Bangladesh reduced poverty level from 44.2 to 11.3 percent (as of the international poverty line of $1.90 per person per day) and life expectancy, literacy rates and per capita food production have increased significantlywithina decade under the present government led by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Progress was underpinned by 6.3percent plus growth over the decade and reaching to 7.9 percent in 2017-18. Rapid growth enabled Bangladesh to reach the lower middle-income country status in 2015. According to World Bank’s estimate in July 2015, Bangladesh hasbecome a lower-middle income countryreachingan annual income of $1,046 to $4,125. In 2018, Bangladesh fulfilled all three eligibility criteria for graduation from the UN’s Least Developed Countries (LDC) list for the first time and is on the right track for graduation in 2024.

Ready-Made Garments (RMG) export is the backbone of the country, which is almost 80% of the total exports, surpassed US$ 30.61 billion in 2017-18.Emerging middle-class domestic demand become an important driving force for economic activities. Competitiveness and manufacturingindustries have been gradually takingsustainable root in the country.Bangladesh has now emerged as an important manufacturing base for textile, pharmaceuticals, finished leathers, light and medium industries, IT and shipbuilding.

Bangladesh maintained satisfactory export growth amidstof the recent global recession. Bangladesh has emerged as the second largest exporter in the world apparel market and is also doing exceedingly well in the exports of finished leathers and leather goods, frozen foods, jute and jute goods, pharmaceutical products, light engineering products and building small ocean-going vessels.

In 2017-18, Bangladesh posted US$ 36.7billion export earnings, which is 5.8 percent more than the previous year, while in the corresponding period the country registered import bills of US$ 46.2 billion. Most of the items in the import list are petroleum products, capital goods and industrial raw materials.Bangladesh has also attained impressive foreign currency reserve, as of September 2018, foreign currency reserves stood at US$ 33 billion.Under the present government led by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina access to electricityincreased from 47 to 80 percent within last 8 years.