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Bangladesh - Open Map
Introduction | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Communication | Transportation | Military

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Economy - overview: Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains one of the world's poorest, most densely populated, and least developed nations. The economy is largely agricultural, with the cultivation of rice the single most important activity in the economy. Major impediments to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, the inefficiency of state-owned enterprises, a rapidly growing labor force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, delays in exploiting energy resources (natural gas), inadequate power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA Wajed's Awami League government has made some headway improving the climate for foreign investors and liberalizing the capital markets; for example, it has negotiated with foreign firms for oil and gas exploration, better countrywide distribution of cooking gas, and the construction of natural gas pipelines and power plants. Progress on other economic reforms has been halting because of opposition from the bureaucracy, public sector unions, and other vested interest groups. The especially severe floods of 1998 increased the country's reliance on large-scale international aid. So far the East Asian financial crisis has not had major impact on the economy.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $187 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5.2% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,470 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 30%
industry: 17%
services: 53% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line: 35.6% (FY95/96 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 23.7% (1992)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9% (FY98/99 est.)

Labor force: 56 million (1995-96)
note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, and Singapore

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 63%, services 26%, industry 11% (FY95/96)

Unemployment rate: 35.2% (1996)

revenues: $4.3 billion
expenditures: $6.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997)

Industries: cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar

Industrial production growth rate: 2.5% (1997 est.)

Electricity - production: 12.5 billion kWh (1999 est.)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 98%
hydro: 2%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)

Electricity - consumption: 11.039 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes; beef, milk, poultry, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit

Exports: $5.1 billion (1998)

Exports - commodities: garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood

Exports - partners: US 33%, Germany 10%, UK 9%, France 6%, Italy 5% (1997)

Imports: $8.01 billion (1998)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, raw cotton, food, crude oil and petroleum products, cement

Imports - partners: India 12%, China 9%, Japan 7%, Hong Kong 6%, South Korea 6% (1997)

Debt - external: $16.5 billion (1998)

Economic aid - recipient: $1.475 billion (FY96/97)

Currency: 1 taka (Tk) = 100 poisha

Exchange rates: taka (Tk) per US$1 - 51.000 (January 2000), 49.085 (1999), 46.906 (1998), 43.892 (1997), 41.794 (1996), 40.278 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

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