The history of the economy of Bangladesh has been agriculture and other rural activities such as fishing and raising animals. Most Bangladeshis earn their living from agriculture. Bangladesh is an agricultural country. With some three-fifths of the population engaged in farming. Although rice and jute are the primary crops, maize and vegetables are assuming greater importance. Due to the expansion of irrigation networks, some wheat producers have switched to cultivation of maize which is used mostly as poultry feed. Jute and tea are principal sources of foreign exchange. Major impediments to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, inefficient state-owned enterprises, inadequate port facilities, a rapidly growing labor force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, delays in exploiting energy resources (natural gas), insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Agriculture has in the past been wholly dependent upon the vagaries of the monsoon. A poor monsoon has always meant poor harvests and the threat of famine. Economic planning has encouraged double and triple cropping, intercropping, and the increased use of fertilizers. Despite the challenges, Bangladesh is doing better than expected, and the current trend indicates that the economy is at a growing rate comparable to many underdeveloped countries.
- GDP: $203 Billion (2000 est)
- GDP growth rate: 5.3% (2000 est)
- GDP per capita: $1,570 (2000 est)
Budget: Income ............... $4.9 Billion
*Main Crops: Rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugar cane, potatoes; beef, milk, poultry
*Natural Resources: Natural Gas, timber
*Major Industries: Jute manufacturing, cotton textiles, food processing, steel, fertilizer
Electricity-production by source:
*fossil fuel: 92.45%
*other: 0% (2000).
Exports: $6.6 billion (2001)
*Exports-commodities: garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood.
*Exports-partners: US 31.8%, Germany 10.9%, UK 7.9%, France 5.2%, Netherlands 5.2%, Italy 4.42% (2000).
Imports: $8.7 billion (2001)
*Imports-commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, raw cotton, food, crude oil and petroleum products, cement.
*Imports-partners: India 10.5%, EU 9.5%, Japan 9.5%, Singapore 8.5%, China 7.4% (2000)
Economic aid-recipient: $1.575 billion (2000 est.)
Currency: 1 taka (Tk) = 100 poisha.
Exchange rates: Taka per US dollar - 57.756 (January 2002), 55.807 (2001), 52.142 (2000), 49.085 (1999), 46.906 (1998), 43.892 (1997)
Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June.
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