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Economy of Bangladesh

 

Bangladesh is an agricultural country. With some three-fifths of the population engaged in farming. Jute and tea are principal sources of foreign exchange. Major impediments to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, inefficient state-owned enterprises, inadequate port facilities, a rapidly growing labor force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, delays in exploiting energy resources (natural gas), insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Economic reform is stalled in many instances by political infighting and corruption at all levels of government. Progress also has been blocked by opposition from the bureaucracy, public sector unions, and other vested interest groups. The newly-elected BNP government, led by Prime Minister Khaleda ZIA, has the parliamentary strength to push through needed reforms, but the party’s level of political will to do so remains undetermined.

Economy of Bangladesh

For higher GDP growth, investments in both public and private sectors will need to be accelerated. The prevailing political and economic stability has greatly encouraged investment in the private sector. The trend of foreign direct investment is very encouraging.

The government is committed to market economy and has been pursuing policies for supporting and encouraging private investment and eliminating unproductive expenditures in the public sector. A number of measures have been taken to strengthen the planning system and intensify reforms in the financial sector. The present government believes that wastage of resources is a far greater obstacle to development than inadequacy of resources.

It is common knowledge that many development efforts in the past years turned into exercises in futility because of inefficiency and corruption in high places. Terrorism was allowed to paralyse law and order. Administration was over centralized at the cost of local government institutions. The government has, therefore, decided to decentralize administration in the quickest possible time.
GDP: purchasing power parity – $230 billion (2001 est.)
GDP-real growth rate: 5.6% (2001 est.)
GDP-per capita: purchasing power parity – $1,750 (2001 est.)
GDP-composition by sector:
Agriculture: 30%.
Industry: 18%.
Services: 52% (2000).
Population below poverty line: 35.6% (1995-96 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 3.9%.
Highest 10%: 28.6% (1996).
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.8% (2000)
Labor force: 64.1 million (1998).
Note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia; workers’ remittances estimated at $1.71 billion in 1998-99.
Labor force-by occupation: agriculture 65%, services 25%, industry and mining 10% (1996)
Unemployment rate: 35.2% (1996).
Budget:
Revenues: $4.9 billion
Expenditures: $6.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000).
Industries: jute manufacturing, cotton textiles, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical, light engineering, sugar, food processing, steel, fertilizer.
Industrial production growth rate: 6.2% (2001)
Electricity-production: 13.493 billion kWh (2000).
Electricity-production by source:
Fossil fuel: 92.45%
Hydro: 7.55%
Nuclear: 0%.
Other: 0% (2000).
Electricity-consumption: 12.548 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity-exports: 0 kWh (2000).
Electricity-imports: 0 kWh (2000).
Agriculture-products: rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry.
Exports: $6.6 billion (2001)
Exports-commodities: garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood.
Exports-partners: US 31.8%, Germany 10.9%, UK 7.9%, France 5.2%, Netherlands 5.2%,
Italy 4.42% (2000).
Imports: $8.7 billion (2001)
Imports-commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, raw cotton, food, crude oil and petroleum products, cement.
Imports-partners: India 10.5%, EU 9.5%, Japan 9.5%, Singapore 8.5%, China 7.4% (2000)
Economic aid-recipient: $1.575 billion (2000 est.)
Currency: 1 taka (Tk) = 100 poisha.
Exchange rates: Taka per US dollar – 57.756 (January 2002), 55.807 (2001), 52.142 (2000), 49.085 (1999), 46.906 (1998), 43.892 (1997)
Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June.

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