BANGLADESH: A TALE OF TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE, RESILIENT PEOPLE AND EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES
How should a country be assessed in terms of its state of development or the potential? Surely, it is the attitude, willingness to change and discipline of the people and the system that a nation commands. History of nations validates that countries with least amount of resources such as Japan and Singapore have made it to the top. Similar opportunities beckon lesser-developed parts/regions of Asia. Indeed, of South Asia as well. This should hold true for the Bay of Bengal coastal country – Bangladesh.
A nation which promises much in the future by many counts: more than half of the 165+ million population is young, people with demonstrated adaptability-resilience-innovation, a stable and well-governed economy with substantial forex reserve, an export-driven economy growing at over 6% for a decade. No longer is Bangladesh known for its poverty, ioods and chaos.
Across the entire spectrum of development, Bangladesh continues to offer the world numerous development innovations and solutions, many of which are replicated. In so many ways, Bangladesh turned challenges into opportunities. In the comity of nations, irrespective of the level of development, Bangladesh is regarded for its objective stance on global issues and contribution to global norms.
- GDP of Bangladesh is currently the 44th largest globally.
- AIMF i?nds Bangladesh’s economy as the second fastest growing major economy of 2016 @ 7.1%.
- AWith Dhaka and Chittagong as principal i?nancial hubs, Bangladesh’s i?nancial sector is the second largest in Indian sub-continent.
- ABangladesh has jumped four spots to 23 in the annual ranking of the worlds’ leading emerging markets.
- With over US$ 75 billion annual foreign trade (exports and imports together), Bangladesh is an apparel industry powerhouse with US$ 30 billion+ exports.
- AImproved business climate ranking, moved three notches up to 28th rank.
- In infrastructure and transport connections, moved three notches up to 44th rank.
- 2017 index further consolidates the position of Bangladesh as the emerging Asian target market.
Since 2008, Bangladeshas GDP has been growing at an average of over 6%, thanks largely to its exports of apparel industry, inward foreign remittance and robust domestic agriculture sector. With mega undertakings in the fray, Bangladesh economy aims to break into 7 – 8% growth trajectory beginning this iscal. Key export sectors include textiles, ship-building, i?sh and seafood, jute and leather goods. And of late, IT and ITES.
Bangladesh is nearly self-suficient in terms of pharmaceuticals, steel and food processing. Bangladesh’s telecom industry has witnessed rapid growth over the years, receiving high FDI from some of the global players. While Bangladesh still stands as Asia’s seventh largest gas producer, the energy scenario is changing with increasing off-shore exploration activities within the maritime territory in the Bay of Bengal.
The government resolutely promotes ‘Digital Bangladesh’ with clear focus to use ICT to address developmental challenges at the grassroots. Multi-modal transportation is an increasingly key and emerging sector that not only fulills the country’s needs, but also connects Bangladesh to the neighborhood and aims to develop Bangladesh as a hub within the contiguous Asian landscape – between the countries in the East and the West. The clear intent of Bangladesh is to position itself within the existing and emerging regional and global supply and value chains in every possible way.
Bangladesh is increasingly strategically important for the economies of north-east India, Nepal and Bhutan: Bangladeshi seaports can provide competitive maritime access for these landlocked regions/countries. China also views Bangladesh as a potential gateway for its landlocked south-west, including Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan. The progress within Bangladesh – China – India – Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIMEC) and a number of other connectivity nodes and growth centers should also merit consideration.
The changing face of Bangladesh beckons rising opportunities for logistics industry. It’s time that global players and investors in international trade, shipping, logistics and infrastructure development look at Bangladesh anew and make deeper inroad to this emerging land. Transformative developments are underway within Bangladesh focusing on the development of the local economy. All these promise signiicant positive yield to most.
In spite of various constraints and challenges, the Government in Bangladesh is open, liberal, focused and committed to translate opportunities to leap forward in sustainable development and resilient industrialization. For logistic industry, Bangladesh undoubtedly presents a space to redeem the opportunity it offers in terms of her thirst for change, attitude and discipline that she has kept alive and accomplished over the last one decade’s time.