Bangladesh has the world’s eighth-largest population with more than 160 million people and was ranked as the 44th largest economy in the world in 2012.
The economy has grown at the rate of 6-7% per annum over the past few years. The growth potential of the economy has led to Bangladesh’s inclusion in the Next Eleven (N-11) of Goldman Sachs.
Agriculture: Bangladesh is one of world’s largest producers of: fisheries (5th), rice (4th), potato (11th), mango (9th), pineapple (16th), tropical Fruit (5th), onion (16th), banana (17th), jute (2nd), tea (11th).
Industry: More than three-quarters of Bangladesh’s export earnings come from the garment industry in 2012. Bangladesh has been ranked as the 3rd largest clothing exporter by the World Trade Organization, and is anticipated to become the largest exporter of Readymade Garments in the next five years.
Shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods manufacturing are important emerging industries, while the jute sector is re-emerging with increasing global demand for green fibers. Other important export sectors includes ceramics, cement, fertilizer, leather goods, software and IT services.
Top Importers of Bangladesh Products are USA, Germany, UK, France & Netherlands. There are bilateral trade agreements between Bangladesh & European Union (with Import duties nil for major products) and with USA.
Bangladesh faces endemic bureaucratic and political corruption, political instability and lack of infrastructure. But the government is planning for construction of the largest deep sea port in South Asia, with the aim to service the whole region as a maritime transport and logistics hub.
Unfortunately, the rapid ascent of the Bangladeshi apparel industry has been accompanied by a string of recent workplace disasters, the improvement of the working conditions will be a major issue in the coming years.
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