The name Bangladesh means "Country of Bengal" in the official Bengali language. It faces the Bay of Bengal to its south, and is bordered by India on the north, west and east, as well as Burma (Myanmar) on the southeast. It is separated from the Himalayan nations of Nepal and Bhutan by India's narrow Siliguri corridor, and is in geographical proximity to China.

Prospects for future growth are solid

  • 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

  • Bangladesh GDP

Share of Exports

  • bd-share-of-export

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 $34BN also growing by 42%
  • Big trade deficit, fuelled by demand for fuel, raw materials, and capital machinery
1992 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
GDP per capita (US$) 290 364 376 386 399 418 437 460 484 509 532 557
Poverty Headcount (%) 59% 49% 40% 32%

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
Raw cotton $ 2,689
Textile and articles thereof $ 2,680
Capital machinery $ 2,325
Iron, steel and other base metals $ 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 5.8
Japan 4.4
Singapore 4.0
... ...
Germany (#13) 2.3
Leading Export Markets 2010/2011 USD mn
USA $ 5,108
Germany (#2) $ 3,439
UK $ 2,065
France $ 2,065
Netherlands $ 2,065

Prospects for future growth are solid

The political relations between Bangladesh and Germany are friendly. Germany was amongst one of the first European countries to acknowledge Bangladesh as an independent state in 1972. Germany and Bangladesh have been reliable partners towards each other whether it was development aid Germany provided to Bangladesh, cultural exchange between the countries or trade relations.

Germany is the second largest export market for Bangladesh after the United States. Between 2007 and 2010 the imports from Bangladesh as the German exports rose continuously. 95 % of imports from Bangladesh to Germany are Ready Made Garments. Far behind are leather goods and food with 1,3 and 1,4 percent. German Exports to Bangladesh are mostly machines (46 %), chemicals and electronic goods (18 % and 14 %). German ship-owners are producing ships in Bangladesh since a couple of years. German stock of direct investment is mostly within the sectors of textile, transport, logistics and building materials; the tendency is rising.

The Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce (BGCCI) is with now almost 400 members the biggest bilateral chamber in Bangladesh and tries to promote trade in Bangladesh. The BGCCI has been a reliable partner since 2004 to help Bangladesh’s economy prosper more and more each year.

  • Bangladesh German bilateral trade is worth over $4BN, weighted heavily in Bangladesh’s favour
  • Exports to Germany are worth $3.4BN, and imports from Germany are worth $691m
  • Over 90% of exports are RMG, so there is an opportunity to diversify, for example through light?engineering
  • Imports are more diverse, but capital machinery is key – machinery, boilers, electrical machinery etc. worth $350m
  • Germany is Bangladesh’s #1 advanced western supplier, ahead of USA
  • As Bangladesh moves up the value chain in manufacturing; looks for technical expertise to up?skill the workforce; seeks advanced technologies to grow in an eco?friendly way; sees a growing domestic demand for high?end services, Germany is uniquely able to support Bangladesh in reaching its long?term potential

Bangladesh Economy

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.