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Case Study of the Day: Bangladesh Growth Story

Bangladesh Growth Story Background

The growth story of Bangladesh was highlighted at an event, which was held to mark 50 years of partnership between the WB and Bangladesh, where the WB Director said that the country’s 6% average economic growth per annum since 2000 has lifted millions of people out of poverty.

About Bangladesh’s Growth Story

  • Bangladesh, being in a state of poverty in 1972, has become a lower-middle-income country in 2015 and it is now on the way to becoming an upper-middle-income country.
Bangladesh's Growth Story
Bangladesh’s Growth Story
  • Key notable achievements include:
    • From the status of being at the bottom of the educational attainment level for girls in 1991, Bangladesh has achieved gender parity in school enrolment through its innovative steps like the female stipends program.
    • It has reduced fertility rates from 6.1 births per woman in 1971, to 2.1 births in 2018.
    • Improvement in life expectancy from 46.5 years in 1972 to over 70 years now due to its policy of investing in people.
  • Further, in a run to adapt to emerging situations, Bangladesh has become a ‘frontrunner in Climate Adaptation’ as reflected in its ‘homegrown approach of early warning systems, cyclone shelters, embankments and afforestation’ which has led to 100 fold reduction in deaths from cyclones since its independence in 1971.
  • Recommendations for Bangladesh for further development include:
    • The country needs to strengthen reforms in the areas of macro-fiscal management, export diversification, the financial sector, energy, and climate resilience.
    • Rationalising its tariff system to reduce the nominal protection rate, removing non-trade barriers and liberalising trade in services is essential to double per-capita income.
    • Further, the World Bank has urged for maintaining stable macroeconomic conditions with sound fiscal management to safeguard the country’s successful development outcomes.
  • Thus, it becomes imperative for India to realise the potential of its neighbour’s growth and leverage it for mutual benefits.

Other Noteworthy Facts

  • Bangladesh currently has the largest ongoing IDA program of WB, with more than USD 15 billion.
  • Bangladesh is currently the 35th largest economy.
  • After independence, the country’s GDP growth was only $6.3 billion, which has now increased to $465 billion.

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