Economy : Trend & Planning
has an agrarian economy with 32% of GDP coming from
the Agriculture Sector. Major agricultural products
are rice, jute, wheat, potato, pulses, tobacco, tea,
sugarcane, etc. The country is the largest exporter
of jute and jute goods in the world. Readymade garments
are among the most exportable items. Tea, frozen shrimps,
fish, leather goods and handicrafts are also major
The country has under gone a major shift in its economic
philosophy and management in recent years. On its
birth, it embraced socialism as the economic ideology
with a dominant role for the public sector. But since
the mid-seventies, it undertook a major restructuring
towards establishing a market economy with emphasis
on private sector-led economic growth.
During the nineties, the country has completed a major
stabilization program which has reduced inflation
as well as fiscal and current account deficits and
established a healthy foreign exchange reserve position
with low and sustainable debt-service liabilities.
With a modest economic growth, the basic indicators
related to health, education and poverty have all
shown sustained improvement
According to a World Bank estimate, Bangladesh has
the 36th largest economy in the world in terms of
GNP based on purchasing power parity method of valuation,
and 55th largest in terms of nominal GNP in U.S. Dollars.
However, because of the population size, per capita
income was US$ 280 in 1998(1 US$=Taka 48.50).
Bangladesh has pursued the path of planned development
since independence. Short term Annual Development
Programs. Medium term Five-year Plans and Long term
perspective plans have been used for the purpose.
The First-Five year plan (1973-78) was launched in
1973, while the Fourth-Five year plan concluded in
The Fifth Five Year Plan has been launched by the
previous government covering the period 1997-002 in
order to enable the country to face the challenges
of the 21st century. Export-led economic growth through
a liberal free market approach, alleviation of poverty
and empowerment of the poor, industrialization, agricultural
growth and human resource development have been attached
topmost priority in recent Development Plans.
During the l990s, the government policy has focused
on strengthening the government's role in social and
infrastructure development, with the private sector
playing the leading role in directly productive activities.
The roles of the government are mainly confined to
regulatory and promotional ones.
Participation of target people at the grassroots level
in the planning process has been emphasized by the
present government. Grass-roots institutions and individuals
are expected to get a prominent role in future in
plan formulation and implementation.