The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is located in South Asia and is mainly surrounded by India. It also borders on the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Bay of Bengal. The country is for a large part situated on the banks of large rivers originated in the Himalaya’s, which cause one third of the land to flood annually. The estimated population is 164 million people.


Economic Outlook

Introduction to the Economy

According to the World Bank Bangladesh has a track record for growth and development. In the past decade, the economy has grown at around 6% per annum, despite frequent natural disasters, fuel, food price and global financial crises and governance challenges.

  • Goldman Sachs 'Next Eleven’ emerging markets (Dec. 2005). Other countries: Turkey, Vietnam, Egypt, and Indonesia.
  • JP Morgan - ‘Frontier Five’ (2007), country with impressive economic and investment potential. Other countries: Vietnam, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Kenya as a Frontier Five.
  • Standard and Poor/Moody’s - first sovereign credit rating of Bangladesh (2010). Other countries: the Philippines, Vietnam and Turkey (South Asia: higher than Pakistan / Sri Lanka, below India).

According to the World Bank, growth picked up from 5.6% in FY2014 to 6.3% in FY2015. In comparison, economic growth in India picked up slightly to 7.5% from 7.3% in the same period. Growth was broad-based with agriculture, industry and service sectors performing well. However growth is also constructing a paradoxical society. At one end steadily growing industries are trying to pull away from the country's vast majority of the poorest people at the other end. With 50% of Bangladesh’s 164 million people living on less than $1.25 (€0.92) per day, the country continues to face considerable development challenges.

In the past two decades, poverty was reduced by nearly one third whereas life expectancy, literacy and per capita food production have increased significantly.  Features such as South Asia's largest shopping mall stand in testament to recent economic growth.

Beginnings of foreign direct investments (US$1504mn in FY2014) are giving Bangladesh a much needed bump into the world economy. Bangladesh operates eight exporting zones nationwide which allow for 100% foreign-owned ventures to operate. These ventures are given equal treatment to local enterprises.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) forecasts real GDP to expand at an average annual rate of 6.3%, continuing to be supported by the steady expansion of private consumption and investment.

The main export products of Bangladesh are garments, frozen fish and seafood, jute and jute goods, and leather. The main export partners are the United States and Western European countries.

The main import products are machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs, petroleum products and cement districts.

Global rankings

Transparency index
Through more than 100 national chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, Transparency International works with partners in government, business and civil society to put effective measures in place to tackle corruption.

The Global Competitiveness Report
The Global Competitiveness Report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 144 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. The Report series remains the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide.

World Bank Ease of doing business
This page summarizes Doing Business data for Bangladesh. The first table lists the overall "Ease of Doing Business" rank (out of 185 economies) and the rankings by each topic. The rest of the tables summarize the key indicators for each topic and benchmark against regional and high-income economy (OECD) averages.