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Overview

Bangladesh has an impressive track record of growth and development. It has been among the fastest growing economies in the world over the past decade, supported by a demographic dividend, strong ready-made garment (RMG) exports, remittances, and stable macroeconomic conditions. The country made a strong economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh tells the world a remarkable story of poverty reduction and development. From being one of the poorest nations at birth in 1971, Bangladesh reached lower-middle income status in 2015. It is on track to graduate from the UN’s Least Developed Countries (LDC) list in 2026. Poverty declined from 43.5 percent in 1991 to 14.3 percent in 2016, based on the international poverty line of $1.90 a day (using 2011 Purchasing Power Parity exchange rate). Moreover, human development outcomes improved along many dimensions. 

Challenges

Bangladesh, like other countries, has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has constrained economic activities and reversed some of the gains achieved in the last decade. Real GDP growth accelerated to 6.9 percent in FY21 as pandemic-related restrictions were eased, led by a rebound of manufacturing and service sector activities. On the demand side, exports and private consumption-led growth. So far, more than 75 percent of the population have been inoculated with the first dose of the vaccine in total. However, its growth faces new headwinds following increasing global commodity prices amid the uncertainty created by the Russia-Ukraine war.

To achieve its vision of attaining upper middle-income status by 2031, Bangladesh needs to create jobs and employment opportunities through a competitive business environment, increased human capital and skilled labor force, efficient infrastructure, and a policy environment that attracts private investments. 

Other development priorities include diversifying exports beyond the RMG sector; deepening the financial sector; making urbanization more sustainable and strengthening public institutions. Addressing infrastructure gaps would accelerate growth and reduce spatial disparities in opportunities across regions and within cities. Addressing vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters will help Bangladesh to continue to build resilience to future shocks. Pivoting towards green growth would support the sustainability of development outcomes for the next generation.  

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2022

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solar home systems have been installed in remote villages of Bangladesh

LENDING

Bangladesh: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

MULTIMEDIA

The World Bank
pagetitle_video 07/22/19

World Bank CEO Visits School of Joy

Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Plot E 32
Sher-e-Bangla Nagar,
Agargaon, Dhaka 1207,
Bangladesh
(880-2) 5566-7777