Bangladesh became a sovereign nation in 1971 as a result of the victory in the Liberation War with Pakistan. Bangladesh is famous for the largest river delta in the world, Bengal tigers, Cox’s Bazar beach, which is the longest Asian natural sea beach, and the Malnicherra Tea Estate, and which is a popular tourist destination (Nations Online, n.d.). Currently, it is a developing country with a large portion of its labor force occupied by agriculture. This paper will give background information on Bangladesh, discussing its area, people, government, economy, and other services.
Geography and Area
Bangladesh is located in Southern Asia, in the delta of the Ganges River, between India and Burma. In the south, the country borders the Bay of Bengal. It occupies 148,460 sq. km, 130,170 of which is the land territory and 18,290 are water (Central Intelligence Agency [CIA], 2022). Bangladesh has 580 km of coastline, and most of its terrain is occupied by plains (CIA, 2022). Its climate is tropical, with a humid and hot summer, a mild winter, and a warm monsoon (CIA, 2022). The country has such natural resources as coal, gas, timber, and arable land (CIA, 2022). Most of its land is agricultural, while only 30% of the territory is covered by forests and other land types (CIA, 2022). The geographical features significantly influence the life and economy in Bangladesh.
People and Society
The nation is among the most highly populated areas globally. In 2021, its total population was 166,304,000 people, and population density amounted to 1 277.6 individuals per km2 (United Nations Statistics Division [UNSD], 2021). Among the 166.3 million Bangladeshi people, over 20 million live in the capital city, Dhaka (UNSD, 2021). The most numerous age group in Bangladesh is people aged 25-54 years, comprising 40.72% of the population, followed by children aged up to 14 years, who constitute 26.48% of the total population (CIA, 2022). The most popular religion is Islam, with Muslims amounting to 88.4% of the population (CIA, 2022). The urban population comprises only 38.9% of the total population (CIA, 2022). Therefore, most Bangladeshi people live in rural areas, which influences their culture. For example, in rural regions, one can find traces of social stratification, where people’s class is determined by their amount of land, education, and occupation (Harris & Lloyd, n.d.). Low urbanization levels can also explain the country’s high reliance on agriculture.
Bangladesh is a parliamentary republic with a multi-party system. The President is the head of the state, while the Prime Minister is the head of the government; executive power is exercised not by the president but by the government (Nations Online, n.d.). The legal system is mixed, consisting of Islamic and English law (CIA, 2022). The country is comprised of 8 divisions, which are then divided into 64 districts.
Bangladesh is characterized by an emerging economy that is growing fast despite many economic problems. Since 2005, it has been showing an average annual economic growth of 6% in spite of poor infrastructure, political instability, corruption, and slow execution of reforms (CIA, 2022). In 2021, the country’s GDP was US$301,051 million, with GDP per capita amounting to US$1,846.4 (UNSD, 2021). Services contributed 56.5% to the country’s GDP, industry – 29.3%, and agriculture – 14.2% (CIA, 2022). However, despite the prevalence of services in the GDP composition, about half of the Bangladeshi population is occupied in the agricultural sector (CIA, 2022). It can be linked to a large portion of the rural population in the country who engage in farming.
Although the majority of the population produces agricultural goods, these goods are mostly consumed locally to meet the high food demands of the densely-populated country. While Bangladesh exports few agricultural products, the main constituents of its exports are clothing, leather footwear, and knitwear (CIA, 2022). Its major export partners are the US, Germany, UK, Spain, and France (CIA, 2022). Among imported goods, key ones are cotton, refined petroleum, scrap iron, natural gas, and wheat (CIA, 2022). The international trade balance of Bangladesh is negative: in 2015, it reached -16,325 million US dollars, and in 2021, it was – 15,009 million (UNSD, 2021). Currently, the government is trying to stimulate economic growth by various measures, one of which is attracting foreign investments (“Foreign investment opportunities,” 2021). In particular, Bangladesh establishes export processing zones to attract investors and increase exports.
Transportation and Communications
Infrastructure, such as transportation and communications, plays a significant role in economic growth and development. In Bangladesh, transportation is represented by various means: airlines, ports, railways, and roadways. The country has 18 airports, 16 of which have paved runways, three heliports, 2,460 km of railways, and 369,105 km of roadways, 110,311 km of which are paved (CIA, 2022). It also has seaports, container ports, and river ports, which greatly impact the country’s trade. The country can be considered underdeveloped in terms of communications. For example, it has the lowest fixed-line rates among South Asian countries since its fixed-line teledensity reaches less than 1 per 100 individuals (CIA, 2022). In 2019, only 12.9% of the population used the Internet (CIA, 2022). Because of the underdeveloped communications infrastructure, most people in Bangladesh use mobile phones and mobile broadband.
Bangladesh is a developing South Asian country that has been showing stable economic growth. The nation has a well-developed clothing industry that contributes the largest portion to its GDP, but it also has several issues that hinder its development, for example, corruption and slow implementation of reforms. One of the key problems that may negatively influence global trade is poor infrastructure, particularly telecommunications. Therefore, the country must allocate resources to solve this issue to foster its participation in international business.
Central Intelligence Agency. (2022). Bangladesh. The World Factbook. Web.
Foreign investment opportunities. (2021). Bangladesh National Portal. Web.
Harris, M. S., & Lloyd, E. (n.d.). Bangladesh. Countries and Their Cultures. Web.
Nations Online. (n.d.). Bangladesh. Web.
United Nations Statistics Division. (2021). Bangladesh. UNData. Web.