Trade & Commerce in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a developing nation. Goldman Sachs named it one of the “Next Eleven”. Bangladesh gradually decreased its dependency on foreign grant and loan from 85% (In 1988) to 2% (In 2010) for its annual development budget. Its per capita income in 2010 was US$641 compared to the world average of $8,985. In December 2005, the Central Bank of Bangladesh projected GDP growth around 6.5%.

Bangladesh has seen a dramatic increase in foreign direct investment. In order to enhance economic growth, the government set up several export processing zones to attract foreign investment The Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority manages these.

Bangladesh government is planning for construction of the largest deep-sea port in South Asia at Sonadia Island. The 500 billion Taka project will be completed in multiple phases and enable Bangladesh to service the whole region as a maritime transport and logistics hub. India, China, Bhutan, Nepal and other neighbouring countries will be able to take full advantage of the strategic location and Bangladesh’s LDC status for exporting their goods, which are manufactured in Bangladesh.

Today Bangladesh is the second biggest producer of textiles’ and soon will overtake the current leader China. It is not just the textile industry, which is flourishing; the shipbuilding and shipwrecking industry in the Chittagong area is becoming more and more important. Through the need of a better infrastructure urban development and building industry are extremely on the rise.

Facts & Figures

  • World’s 8th biggest population, according to World Bank, with a young demographic
  • Strategic position in the heart of Asia
  • Cost‐effective manufacturing environment
  • Expected to transition to Middle Income Country in next decade, fuelling domestic demand

Bangladesh GDP


Share of Exports


Booming Exports, especially Ready Made Garments

  • Exports worth $23BN, growing at 41% in FY 2011
  • World’s #3 exporter of RMG, which accounts for 78% of exports
  • Strong exports of Jute, Leather, Seafood, but more diversification needed to reduce reliance on RMG Growing expertise in high‐end sectors
  • Manufactures high‐end garments for Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Esprit etc., and produces high‐end leather goods
  • Shipbuilding exports +333% FY 2011
  • Manufactures pharmaceuticals for export
  • Named as a top‐30 location for offshore IT services by Gartner
  • Emerging light engineering industry to capitalise on export hub, and growing domestic demand for mid‐range goods

Big trade deficit

  • Imports worth $34BN also growing by 42%
  • Big trade deficit, fuelled by demand for fuel, raw materials, and capital machinery

Bangladesh is a rapidly emerging market

  • Strong and stable GDP growth for a long period of Time
  • Growth remained strong during the financial crisis
Top Imports 2010/2011 USD mn
Petrol, Oil, Lubricants (POL) $ 3,186
Petrol, Oil, Lubricants (POL) $ 3,186
Capital machinery $ 2,325
Iron, steel and other base metals $ 3,186
Petrol, Oil, Lubricants (POL) $ 2,004
Food Grains $ 1,911
Yarn $ 1,391
Plastics $ 1,302
Chemicals $ 1,254


Leading Suppliers 2010/2011 % of total
China 19.7
India 15.2
Malaysia 4.4
Singapore 4.0
Germany (#13) 2.3

Leading Export Markets 2010/2011 USD mn

Country USD mm
USA $ 5,108
Germany (#2) $ 3,439
UK $ 2,065
France $ 2,065
Netherlands $ 2,065