Bangladesh has made significant strides in its economic sectors since independence in 1971. The country is in 46th position among 193 countries with a gross domestic product of US$ 242,200 million. The economy has grown at the rate of 6-7% annually over the past few years. More than half of the GDP belongs to the service sector that employs 25% of the work force, while half of the work force is employed in the agricultural sector that counts for 18% of our GDP.
With sound planning and forward vision of the regulatory body as well as the Government, Bangladesh proved to be resilient to the latest global meltdown. Rather it showed a very healthy and steady growth of its GDP during last few years and is predicted to have similar trend in the coming years, while most of the developed and developing countries of the world are experiencing either gridlock or backward move of their GDP.
Remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, mainly in the Middle East and East Asia, as well as exports of garments and textiles are the main sources of foreign exchange earning. Bangladeshi entrepreneurs have shown themselves adept at competing in the global garments marketplace. This industry is now worth more than $11 billion. Among other export items Tea, Shrimp & Sea fishes, Cement, Ceramics wear, Medicine, leather & leather goods, jute, and Ships are notable ones.
Bangladesh has significant reserve of natural gas and coal alongside a little reserve of hard rock and oil. However, the best natural resource of Bangladesh is the soil itself. Land is so fertile that it produces nearly everything that could be grown on earth. The land is mainly devoted to produce rice. Because of the fertile soil and normally ample water supply, rice can be grown and harvested three times a year in many areas that made Bangladesh the third largest producer of rice on earth. We also produce Jute, sugar cane, Banana, oil seeds, several fruits and vegetables.
Micro Credit, initiated by Nobel Laureate Dr. Md. Yunus, is being implemented by NGOs and local banks. This was a leap forward for the country in terms of rural development as well as women empowerment. This also helped Bangladesh achieve very low rate of unemployment, which is only 2.50%. Despite regular natural calamities and frequent political instabilities over the years, Bangladesh has set an example for the world in keeping constant economic development through industrialization in an open market policy without shifting its concentration from Agricultural base and maintaining a low disparity between rich and poor (GINI ratio 33.2).