Since its inception in 1971, Bangladesh has witnessed myriad economic and political shifts. However, starting since the last era, the country has been moving towards a more reliable and growing economic stature. The development has been so widespread and accelerating that it put Bangladesh as one of the textbook role models for developing countries.
From an aid-oriented setting to a trade-based triumph, Bangladesh is now eyeing to cross the half-trillion-dollar milestone in the economy. The country is anticipated to hold a massive $455 billion worth of economy in the current fiscal year. Economic growth of 7.2% and an exponential per capita income rise accounting for $2,785 in the current fiscal 2021-22 projects Bangladesh as the fastest-growing economy in South Asia. The “7 percent-mark” growth, attained only twice before, shows how Bangladesh has been recovering seamlessly from the pandemic setbacks. The milestone is set to surpass the target laid out last June.
During the pandemic, the rising economy witnessed a setback. But the country immediately went back to the recovery track, and by the current fiscal year, it is evident that we have come across far from the pandemic-led damages. From a plummeting growth rate of 3.45% in the 2019-20 fiscal year to 6.94% in 2020-2021, the economy took a drastic upper turn which now looks forward to attaining 7.2% growth this year. Moreover, in the international Covid recovery index, the country comes in fifth place out of 121 countries and first in South Asia.
On top of the given statistics, Bangladesh has undertaken several Mega Projects, including Padma Bridge, Dhaka metro rail, elevated expressway, Karnaphuli tunnel, and Rooppur nuclear power plant. These projects, anticipated to launch by the following decade, will excel in our economy more diversely and create a broader landscape to usher in more employment and trade. In 2021, the country’s trade escalated by more than USD100 billion in association with Foreign Exchange Reserves accounting for $45 billion.
The robust growth requires a perfect blend between the government and industrial sectors. The extensive manufacturing industries have been gearing up the economy for quite a time which helped the government maneuver towards more sustainable growth through infrastructural development and mega projects. The industrial sector is estimated to reach a 12.87% growth per output. Additionally, the private sector accounts for more than 70% of total investment in Bangladesh.
As we thrive forward, we have a few untapped sectors to explore. Adapting with tech-based solutions, namely Fintech and the growing Edtech industry, has much more to contribute to the economy. Innovation is the heart of any progress. Bangladesh has witnessed a booming scenario in innovation for the last few years. This milestone has created opportunities for youths and pointed out fields where special treatment is required. As we are leaning towards eliminating poverty, innovative startups and entrepreneurship have set a new direction in attaining the goal. A declining poverty rate of 20.5% is, without mention, a pivotal aspect of becoming an advanced country by 2041.
Bangladesh, with its resources, is creating higher impacts on infrastructure, manufacturing, and innovative sectors. However, the critical resource remains the country’s vibrant population, including a unique demographic dividend. Among the 160 million citizens, 70% are below 40. This phenomenon asserts that our overall development and associate policies should be youth-centric, and the youths over the decade will have more to contribute to the economy.
The pandemic has been a “lesson learned” for Bangladesh alongside the global economy. As we are moving toward graduating from LDC by 2026, the economy’s current growth assures us a better future in association with more untapped sectors explored and innovation generated.