Rooftops of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. Image: Ahmed Hasan/Unsplash
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- Bangladesh’s GDP growth rate is forecast to be 8% in 2020
- The figures put it ahead of other Asian countries, including India
- It could shed its 'least developed country' status in five years
Things have moved. Bangladesh now has an average growth rate of 8% – well above the Asian average, Asian Development Bank figures show.
Graduating from LDC status is a sign that a country’s per capita gross national income, human assets, and resilience to economic and environmental shocks are robust enough to enable sustainable development.
Bangladesh was 105th in the The Global Competitiveness Report 2019 from the World Economic Forum. The more competitive a country is, the more likely it is that it will be able to improve living standards.
What do we mean by ‘competitiveness’?
The garment trade that began in Bangladesh in the 1970s is now a $30 billion industry. But the economy is diversifying. The services sector – including microfinance and computing – makes up 53% of the country’s GDP.
The success of the IT industry is central to the digital transformation and ongoing economic growth of Bangladesh. It exports nearly $1 billion of technology products every year – a figure that the government expects to increase to $5 billion by 2021. The country also has 600,000 IT freelancers.
Bangladesh has seen wide improvements in health, education, infant mortality and life expectancy, according to Daniel Gay of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. This has driven growth and reduced economic vulnerability. “It’s really a success story,” he says.
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
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