The World Can Learn From Bangladesh | Daily News

The World Can Learn From Bangladesh

Bangladeshi apparel industry
Bangladeshi apparel industry

The GDP Per Capita of Bangladesh is close to that of India and exceeds that of Pakistan. Bangladesh has just completed 50 years of its existence as an independent country of South East Asia and South Asia.

Bangladesh got its independence from Pakistan in 1971. Born through the Great Liberation War from Pakistan in 1971, it inherited a shattered economy and a completely broken infrastructure. It was described as a hopeless economic disaster by many economic experts and world leaders such as Henry Kissinger of the US who called it a “Basket Case” in 1974. Nobody believed that it could survive economically as an independent country. Today the world is both surprised and delighted to see the phoenix rising from the ashes.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

At present, Bangladesh is one of the developing economies of the world. In 2015, Bangladesh graduated from Least Developed Country (LDC) status and became a low Middle Income Country. Many Asian and European including American economists hope that soon Bangladesh will become one of the major Middle Income Countries in the world. Today, Bangladesh is moving forward at a relentless pace in various indicators of the economy.

Bangladesh has shown unexpected and very impressive economic development. The GDP Growth Rate surpassed Pakistan’s in 2006 and since then it has outperformed Pakistan every year and, to the surprise of leading economists, is today one of the world’s fastest growing economies. The GDP Per Capita of Bangladesh is close to that of India and exceeds that of Pakistan. It is now the leading world exporter of garments and many other sectors are fast catching up.

Economic development

This country is also among the top 10 remittance receiving countries of the world and receives around US$ 18 billion annually which is a great help during the pandemic. All credit to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, daughter of the Founder of the Nation. She has managed to keep a firm control on the growth of religious extremism and bigotry and has very adroitly managed to keep religion and the State separated and has focused totally on economic development and other sectors of national policy.

Since independence Bangladesh has suffered the pangs of its bloody birth and has been through the scourge of many tragedies such as abysmal poverty, over population, floods and cyclones and a huge flood of Rohingya Muslims fleeing from Myanmar. In spite of many natural and man-made disasters and not much international assistance this young nation has also become one of the great economic success stories of the world. The garment industry is only second to that of China and its economy has averaged above 6 a per cent annual growth rate during the last 10 years reaching 7.86 per cent in 2015. From a state of mass starvation in 1974 it has achieved almost total self-sufficiency in food production for a population of more than 166 million.

Asian Tiger

The Per Capita Income (PCI) has nearly tripled since 2009 reaching to level of US$ 1750 in 2015 and the number of people living below the Poverty Line has gone down from 19 per cent to less than 9 per cent according to the World Bank. Bangladesh today has met the United Nations (UN) criteria for graduating from the status of “Least Developed Country” to the rank of a “Developing Economy” giving a very significant boost to the national pride and the self-image of the country. Today Bangladesh is on the way to become an Asian Tiger. It is moving forward relentlessly in all areas of national growth per capita income, export income, foreign exchange reserves, electricity, communications, economic and social infrastructure and all areas essential for national development.

Despite the downturn in the global economy because of the Coronavirus pandemic Bangladesh has managed a very impressive growth in its Per Capita income. In the Fiscal year 2019-2020 the Per Capita Income of Bangladesh was US$ 2,064 and in the year 2020-2021 this income increased to US$ 2,228.

According to the ADB report in the year 2020-2021 and 2021-22 the growth rate is expected to be 6.8 per cent and 7.2 percent even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Today the development oriented galloping horse of Bangladesh is fast moving towards the desired goal of economic prosperity overtaking many other countries in South East Asia and standing out as a role model of progress and development in the developing world.

A geographically tiny and demographically overpopulated country, Bangladesh shows the world how her economy is surviving during this pandemic. In reviving and recovering a stagnant economy, Bangladesh may be a vibrant example for every country in the world. Even during this pandemic period, her economy is reviving. It can be a surprise for the whole world.

Spectacular rise

According to the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CIBR), a British economic research institute, Bangladesh will be the 34th largest economy by 2025, 26th by 2030 and 25th by 2035 if the current economy continues to grow and develop. Today the world economy is in the vicious grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the global economy is stagnant and the world’s GDP and the GDP Per Capita Income are stable or negative, the Bangladeshi economy is moving forward at a slow rate. One of the factors behind this movement is the growth of its overall export earnings, the growing inflow of foreign remittances and the positive flow of Per Capita national income.

The spectacular rise and economic progress of this country is a great surprise for the whole world. Economists and political leaders all over the world are simply amazed and are now monitoring this amazing progress and development strategy. Some countries are even thinking of adopting the Bangladeshi model of development in their own countries. According to the US daily the Wal-Mart Journal, Bangladesh’s economy is now the “Fast Horse” in South Asia and Mike Hard, a columnist for the Washington Post has written that at once South Korea (“The Miracle on the Han River”) was cited as an example of development but now Bangladesh has proudly occupied that place.

The International Forum for Rights and Security, a Canada based think tank, recently published a report on Pakistan and Bangladesh. This report has clearly shown that Bangladesh is ahead of Pakistan in all areas of the economy and development. Many leading economists of the world have now advised all developing countries to adopt and follow the Bangladesh model for economic growth, progress and development. It is now expected that by 2035 Bangladesh economy will be the 25th largest economy in the world and in 2040 it will be fully developed. It will become the prosperous golden Bengal as dreamt by the Founding Father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s “Amar Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal” vision. Golden Bengal is synonymous with zero hunger, want, disease and mental tension. The Golden Bengal Vision is synonymous with the Maximum Happiness of the Bengali People.

(Pathik Hasan is a Dhaka-based NGO activist, researcher and freelance writer on contemporary international issues whose work has been published in many local and international publications. Academic background: BSS (Peace and Conflict Studies) and MSS (International Relations) at the University of Dhaka, Bangaldesh. He can be reached at [email protected])

- Eurasia Review

Chittagong Port, Bangladesh

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