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    Bangladesh Economy 1998

      Economy - overview Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains one of the world's poorest, most densely populated, and least developed nations. Annual GDP growth has averaged over 4% in recent years from a low base. Its economy is largely agricultural, with the cultivation of rice the single most important activity in the economy. Major impediments to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, the inefficiency of state-owned enterprises, a rapidly growing labor force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, delays in exploiting energy resources (natural gas), inadequate power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Frequent strikes that crippled the economy in 1995 and early 1996 subsided after Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA Wajed's Awami League government assumed power in mid-1996, allowing a return to normal economic activity. The current government has made some headway improving the climate for foreign investors and liberalizing the capital markets; for example, it has negotiated with foreign firms for oil and gas exploration, better countrywide distribution of cooking gas, and the construction of natural gas pipelines and power plants. Progress on other economic reforms has been halting because of opposition from the bureaucracy, public sector unions, and other vested interest groups.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $167 billion (1997 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 5.5% (1997 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,330 (1997 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 30%
      industry: 18%
      services: 52% (1996)

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 2.5% (1996)

      Labor force
      total: 56 million
      by occupation: agriculture 63%, services 25%, industry and mining 10% (1996)
      note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, and Oman (1996)

      Unemployment rate 35.2% (1996)

      revenues: $3.6 billion
      expenditures: $5.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $3 billion (FY96/97)

      Industries jute manufacturing, cotton textiles, food processing, steel, fertilizer

      Industrial production growth rate 5.3% (1996)

      Electricity - capacity 2.978 million kW (1995)

      Electricity - production 11.5 billion kWh (1997)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 71 kWh (1997 est.)

      Agriculture - products rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes; beef, milk, poultry

      total value: $3.9 billion (1996)
      commodities: garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood
      partners: Western Europe 42%, US 30%, Hong Kong 4%, Japan 3% (FY95/96 est.)

      total value: $6.9 billion (1996)
      commodities: capital goods, textiles, food, petroleum products
      partners: India 21%, China 10%, Western Europe 8%, Hong Kong 7%, Singapore 6% (FY95/96 est.)

      Debt - external $17.1 billion (1996)

      Economic aid
      recipient: $1.475 billion (FY96/97)

      Currency 1 taka (Tk) = 100 poisha

      Exchange rates taka (Tk) per US$1 - 45.450 (January 1998), 43.892 (1997), 41.794 (1996), 40.278 (1995), 40.212 (1994), 39.567 (1993)

      Fiscal year 1 July - 30 June

      NOTE: The information regarding Bangladesh on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bangladesh Economy 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bangladesh Economy 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)