Bangladesh Profile

Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries, with its people living in between delta of rivers that empties into the Bay of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means “Country of Bengal” in the official Bengali language. It faces the Bay of Bengal to its south, and is bordered by India on the north, west and east, as well as Burma (Myanmar) on the southeast. It is separated from the Himalayan nations of Nepal and Bhutan by India’s narrow Siliguri corridor, and is in geographical proximity to China.

Bangladesh Economy

Bangladesh is a developing nation &  gradually decreasing its dependency on foreign grant and loans from 85% (in 1988) to 2% (in 2010) for its annual development budget. Its per capita income in 2010 was US$641 compared to the world average of US$8,985. In December 2005, the Central Bank of Bangladesh projected GDP growth around 6.5%.

Bangladesh has seen a dramatic increase in foreign direct investment. In order to enhance economic growth, the government set up several export processing zones to attract foreign investment. The Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority manages these.

Bangladesh government is planning for construction of the largest deep-sea port in South Asia at Sonadia Island. The 500 billion Taka project will be completed in multiple phases and enable Bangladesh to service the whole region as a maritime transport and logistics hub. India, China, Bhutan, Nepal and other neighbouring countries will be able to take full advantage of the strategic location and Bangladesh’s LDC status for exporting their goods, which are manufactured in Bangladesh.

Today Bangladesh is the second biggest producer of textiles and soon will overtake the current leader China. It is not just the textile industry, which is flourishing; the shipbuilding and shipwrecking industry in the Chittagong area is becoming more and more important. Through the need of a better infrastructure, urban development and building industry are extremely on the rise.

Currency Bangladesh Taka (BDT)
Fiscal Year 1 July – 30 June
Trade organizations WTO, WCO, IOR-ARC, SAFTA, D8


GDP $118.7 billion (nominal; 2012 est.)$305.5 billion (PPP; 2012 est.)
GDP growth 6.1% (2012 est.)
GDP per capita $2,000 (PPP; 2012 est.)
GDP by sector agriculture: 17.3%, industry: 28.6%, services: 54.1% (2012 est.)
Inflation (CPI) 8.69% (2011-2012)
below poverty line
31.5% (2012 est.)
Gini coefficient 33.2 (2005)
Labour force 75.42 million (2012)
Labour force
by occupation
agriculture: 45%, industry: 30%, services: 25% (2008)
Unemployment 5% (2012 est.)
Main industries textiles and apparel, jute, tea, leather, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, cement, ceramics, shipbuilding, fertilizer, food processing, paper newsprint, light engineering, sugar , fisheries , rubber , ship repairing, agriculture
Ease of Doing Business Rank 122nd


Exports $24.28 billion (2012 est.)
Export goods apparel, ships, jute and jute products, frozen fish and seafood, leather and leather products, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, cement, processed food, fertilizer
Main export partners United States 19.4%
Germany 16.5%
United Kingdom 10.0%
France 7.3%
Italy 4.4%
Spain 4.2%
Netherlands 4.2% (2011 est.)
Imports $30 billion (2012 est.)
Import goods machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement
Main import partners  China 18.2%
 India 13.5%
 Malaysia 4.9% (2011 est.)
Gross extrenal debt $24.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Public finances

Public Debt 36.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
Revenues $12.67 billion (2012 est.)
Expenses $17.15 billion (2012 est.)
Economic aid $0.957 billion (2011 est.)
Credit Rating BB – (domestic)
BB – (foreign)
BB -(T&C assessment)
(Standars & Poor’s)
Foreign reserves $13.53 billion (January 2013)

Prospects for future growth are solid

  • World’s 8th biggest population, according to World Bank, with a young demographic
  • Strategic position in the heart of Asia
  • Cost‐effective manufacturing environment
  • Expected to transition to Middle Income Country in next decade, fuelling domestic demand

Booming Exports, especially Ready Made Garments

  • Exports worth $23BN, growing at 41% in FY 2011
  • World’s #3 exporter of RMG, which accounts for 78% of exports
  • Strong exports of Jute, Leather, Seafood, but more diversification needed to reduce reliance on RMG Growing expertise in high‐end sectors
  • Manufactures high‐end garments for Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein,
    Esprit etc., and produces high‐end leather goods
  • Shipbuilding exports +333% FY 2011
  • Manufactures pharmaceuticals for export
  • Named as a top‐30 location for offshore IT services by Gartner
  • Emerging light engineering industry to capitalise on export hub, and growing domestic demand for mid‐range goods

Big trade deficit

  • Imports worth $34BN also growing by 42%
  • Big trade deficit, fuelled by demand for fuel, raw materials, and capital machinery
  • Strong and stable GDP growth for a long period of time
  • Growth remained strong during the financial crisis