The Netherlands Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Bangladesh Economy

Situated in South Asia, Bangladesh is a young democracy with all the growth pains that entails. 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. With a large population of over 160 million people, and an economy on growth path, Bangladesh has been listed in the “Next 11 after BRIC” in Goldman Sachs analyst reports, while JP Morgan has included Bangladesh in the “Frontier Five” economies. 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. The economy has been growing at ~6% for the last 5 years. The FDI into Bangladesh was 913 million USD in 2010, almost doubling in the last 7 years, and showing a robust growth from USD700 million in 2009. Bangladesh is also the world’s second largest exporter of apparels and ready made garments.

Bangladesh, despite being ranked among less developed countries, has been a pioneer in reaching out to the larger population through technology. Mobile phone penetration has been among one of the highest in the developing economies with a teledensity of over 40%. The internet penetration rate is estimated to be at 7% - with most people using mobile internet. The use of international bandwidth has risen 200% in 3 years to 2011 with capacity upgrades for international bandwidth of over 500% underway into 2012/13. The “Digital Bangladesh” program of the government has initiated the process of e-services for government service delivery and capacity building for the population at large.

In terms of CSR and corporate governance, there is scope for improvement of the business climate. To learn more click here.