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Bangladesh Growth Pegged at 8 Pct This Year –With IT 53Pct of GDP

Bangladesh exports nearly $1 billion of IT services (53pct of GDP) every year – a figure that the government expects to increase to $5 billion by 2021. The country also has 600,000 IT freelancers

AL-BILAD: Bangladesh, when formed in 1971, began with a negative GDP growth rate of -14%. Now things are looking good for the country, as it now has an average growth rate of 8 percent, well above the Asian average, according to the Asian Development Bank.

An article for the World Economic Forum (WEF) has highlighted that the country would maintain this growth rate in 2020, putting it ahead of other neighbors, including India. The article attributes a decline in population, which is increasing per capita income to the growth story. “The number of employed workers living below the poverty line dropped from 73.5 percent in 2010 to 10.4 percent in 2018”.

Classified by the United Nations as one of the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) since 1975, Bangladesh could shed that tag by 2024 if it continues on its current path of growth, the WEF predicts.

The South Asian country was 105th in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019 from the WEF. The more competitive a country is, the more likely it is that it will be able to improve living standards, said the report.

The success of Bangladesh’s garment trade industry, now at $30 billion, as well as the services sector, including microfinance and IT/computing (53 percent of GDP growth), are contributing to the growth.

“The success of the IT industry is central to the digital transformation and ongoing economic growth of Bangladesh. It exports nearly $1 billion of technology products every year – a figure that the government expects to increase to $5 billion by 2021. The country also has 600,000 IT freelancers,” the WEF article said.

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