Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with nearly 80% of the population living on less than $2 a day. Bangladesh’s GDP stands at $100 billion, fueled mostly by growth in agriculture and garmenting.
The country has significant infrastructure needs including in power, water, roads. As a low lying country, Bangladesh is also extremely vulnerable to climate change with food security and disaster management deserving high priority. Along with investments in education and health, policies conducive to private sector participation are important.
Bangladesh’s dynamic garments sector employs approximately 3 million people, 80% of whom are women, and is responsible for 75% of total exports. More than half of the population is involved in agriculture, especially those living outside the major cities. Bangladesh’s foreign direct investment crossed the $ 1 billion mark in 2008, and is set to increase furthers since S&P’s sovereign credit rating of BB for the country.
Bangladesh has a strategically important location, with easy access to India and China. With low cost, young workforce, investment in export processing zones and strong local market, the outlook for the country looks promising. According to the Doing Business report, Bangladesh was the most active reformer in South Asia in 2010, with key reforms in, land, automation and e-governance.