Doing business in Bangladesh - the new Asian Tiger?
03 January 2018
There is talk of Bangladesh as the new ‘Asian Tiger’. The country’s export-led growth over the past two decades has been supported by an abundance of low-cost labour, an increase in female labour force participation, and productivity gains from a shift away from agriculture to manufacturing. It is estimated, for example, that Bangladesh has picked up about two-thirds of China's low-end manufacturing market share in Europe.
As a result, per capita income has risen steadily, with Bangladesh now considered by the IMF to be emerging from ‘low-income status’, and social indicators having markedly improved. More recently, sound macroeconomic policies and favourable external conditions—in particular, strong export demand, high remittances (nearly two-thirds of which originate in the Gulf countries), and low commodity prices—have combined to yield solid output growth, falling inflation, moderate public debt, and greater resilience to external shocks.
Our new Doing Business in Bangladesh Guide is designed to introduce you to this complex market of over 162,900,000 people. They joined the Commonwealth in 1972 and from the mid-1990s governments have consistently advocated free market policies and privatisation of more than 60 state owned enterprises which obviously attracts overseas investment. Focus is on areas as diverse as manufacturing, agriculture, transport and communications in terms of divestment however, these offer long-term propositions and should only be approached as part of a long-term plan with support from UKEF and DIT wherever possible.
GDP growth sits at 7.11% (2016) and economic policy has targeted poverty with programmes aimed at increasing food production and expanding education, while developing an industrial and technological base, which sounds difficult however, if you are in food production technologies or supply of education services on a mass delivery basis, these could prove to be great opportunities.
The propensity to flooding and cyclones leaves it vulnerable although, having said that, they nevertheless achieved economic growth averaging around 4% per annum from the 1970s. It also has huge reserves of natural gas (estimated at 300 billion cubic metres in January 2014). Bangladesh is not a first market for new exporters but definitely a country that with help could become a great partner.
Good luck and don’t forget that the Institute is always there to help on your journey
alongside UK Export Finance and the Department for International Trade.
The guide is available to download on the website or you can download an app (from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store). Alternatively, you can order a free full colour hard copy brochure here.
To see the full range of Doing Business Guides, go here: http://www.export.org.uk/page/DoingBusinessGuides