South Asia’s Economic Miracle: Bangladesh – Kashmir Reader
After gaining independence in 1971 under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh has gone through many ups and downs, but is now a stable developing country. Thanks to the capable and dynamic leadership and extraordinary skills of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has reached this stage today.
Despite being a small developing country, Bangladesh is making progress in all areas of development. Success has been achieved in achieving the MDGs and implementing the SDGs with good long-term planning. Bangladesh is advancing in the areas of human resource development, infrastructure and technology, expansion of foreign trade, overseas employment, sound market planning, development of food sectors. agriculture, education and health, gender equality, poverty reduction, life expectancy, increased exports, industrialization, etc.
In addition, the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has undertaken the construction of ten megaprojects and 100 economic zones for the development of infrastructure in the interest of economic development. It is hoped that the people of the country will be able to reap the benefits of all these megaprojects in a very short time. As a result, the pace of the country’s economic development will be further accelerated. Megaprojects include Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, Metrorail to Dhaka, Rail Link to Padma Bridge, Dohazari Railway Line to Cox’s Bazar via Ramu and Ghumghum via Ramu, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Power Plant of Matarbari, the LNG terminal, the coal mine port and Sonadia project to build a deep water port.
Apart from this, the creation of 100 economic zones (ZFE) on 30,000 hectares of land by 2030 is in full swing. It can be mentioned that 20 percent of the country’s total exports are exported through the Bangladesh Industrial Free Zone (EPZ). Currently, BEPZA is making a significant contribution to the national economy through eight on-going EPZs in Bangladesh. In accordance with the government decision, construction works of four additional free zones have been undertaken at present. The project was adopted in 2017 under the leadership of the Prime Minister, and the work to establish the “BEPZA economic zone” on 1150 acres of land in Mirsarai Upazila of Chittagong district is nearing completion. Agreements will be concluded with national and foreign investors within a very short timeframe.
Given the success of BEPZA, work has been undertaken for the establishment of three new EPZs on the instruction of the Prime Minister. These are Sahebganj Sugarcane Mill and Patuakhali Pigeon from Rangpur Sugar Mill to improve the standard of living of small ethnic groups in Jessore district in the southwest of the country. These three EPZs are currently being implemented. If a new BEPZA economic zone and 3 EPZs are established, the country’s total exports via BEPZA will increase further. There will be many job opportunities.
The most important thing in terms of progress is the entry of Bangladesh into developing country status. Bangladesh was classified as a Least Developed Country (LDC) by the United Nations in 1975. To be included in a developing country of a least developed country, three conditions must be met. In 2018, for the first time, Bangladesh fulfilled all three conditions and the transition from LDCs to developing countries took place. The United Nations Committee on Economic and Social Development (CDP) has officially declared Bangladesh’s eligibility for the LDC transition. To be a developing country, a country’s per capita income must be at least US $ 1,230. If a country has more than 36 points, this country can be included in the LDCs, if it is less than 32, the qualification of developing country is acquired. Bangladesh’s points decreased by 25.2. It can be seen that the per capita income of the population of Bangladesh in 2020 is calculated at 2024 US dollars. 8 points are required to be a developing country in the human resources index. Bangladesh’s point is 75.3. If a country’s economic fragility index is above 36 points, then that country can be included in LDCs, if it is below 32, then the developing country is eligible. Bangladesh’s points decreased by 25.2.
According to the country’s GDP, Bangladesh is expected to move forward on the development path. GDP is the total value of goods and services produced in a country at a given time (usually a year). The percentage growth of a country’s gross domestic product is defined as economic growth. Simply put, economic growth refers to the percentage of the increased share of GDP. GDP reflects the size and strength of a country’s economy. This is the universally accepted and widely accepted method of determining or determining economic potential or strength. In 2019, Bangladesh’s GDP was 317.465 million US dollars, in 2020 it was 860.917. In 2018 and 2019, the GDP growth rate was 8% and 7.9% respectively. In 2021, the probable rate should be 9.5%. Bangladesh’s GDP growth mainly comes from five sectors. The sectors are manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, transportation, construction and agriculture. About 67% of the GDP depends on the five sectors mentioned in Bangladesh.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen noted that in some cases Bangladesh has had such amazing success. These include educational facilities, empowering women, reducing maternal and child mortality, providing toilets and health facilities for the poor, and immunizing children.
For a small developing country, the country has seen great success in launching the rapidly evolving Bangabandhu Satellite-1 within 50 years of its formation to form “Digital Bangladesh”. The country’s broadcasting activities are enriched thanks to the images and information obtained from the Bangabandhu satellite. The government of Bangladesh has taken all measures to realize the dream of digital Bangladesh. These include the introduction of electronic documents, the institutionalization of the online public procurement process, etc. Electronic payment and mobile banking were introduced to make the process of providing services simple, transparent and fast. In addition, one of the largest national web portals in the world was established. All the Upazilas in the country have been put on the Internet. All of these successes are the result of digital development in Bangladesh.
In terms of economic development, Bangladesh’s export earnings have steadily increased in recent years. Along with remittances, agricultural and industrial production also increased. At the same time, infrastructure development has taken place. The employment and productivity of millions of people have increased at the marginal level. Bangladesh is currently the 36th country in the economy and the fifth fastest growing country. By 2035, Bangladesh will be the 25th largest economy in the world.
May the tide of this development of Bangladesh continue. Everyone expects Bangladesh to be in a strong position in the global economy. Today, 50 years after her birth, devastated Bangladesh has become a country free from hunger and poverty with the help of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Bangabandhu. She effectively fulfills all the responsibilities to realize the dream of her father, the father of the nation.
– The writer is a teacher at a local school in Dhaka. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Dhaka.