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BANGLADESH


  
  



Key Economic Data 
 
  2004 2003 2002 Ranking(2004)
GDP
Millions of US $ 56,844 51,900 45,500 54
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 440 400 390 175
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Bangladesh


Update No: 027 - (28/03/08)

BANGLADESH EXPLORES RENEWABLE ENERGY
Bangladesh has embarked on a massive attempt to search for 'alternative fuels' for power generation. As part of this initiative, the government plans to increase power output using renewable resources by 10 per cent. The current power output from these sources is 5 per cent according to Power Ministry reports. Dr. M. Tamim, Special Assistant to the Chief Advisor said that policy and strategic action plans are essential to implementing renewable energy projects in the country and the renewable ones should be supplementary to conventional energy sources. Dr. Tamim recently participated in the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC) where he announced Bangladesh's program on renewable energy. Tamim said that Bangladesh plans to reach a 100 MW production target from hydro-sources and is keen to see the evaluation report on the Kutubdia wind pilot project. Although the government declared a National Energy Policy in 1995, alternative energy efficiency and conversion plans are yet to be approved. At present 2 MW of power is being generated by wind energy. Around 600 MW of power could be produced from bio-mass and around 300 MW from co-generation (using the pulp of crushed sugarcane, for example). It has been learnt that different non-government organisations have helped to install 75,000 home solar systems in remote rural areas under a rural electrification and renewable energy development project. 

UNDP URGES INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT 
The United Nations Development Agency-UNDP has said Bangladesh needs more support from the international community in the wake of the sharp increase in global food and energy prices. UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis said the real issue is protecting the vulnerable sections of the people from these shocks. According to the UNDP, roughly 40 percent of Bangladeshis live below the poverty line and poor households spend nearly 70 percent of their income on food items. The cost of food has risen 16 per cent in 2007, with the price of staples such as rice and oil climbing even higher. In addition, two devastating floods and Cyclone Sidr made the situation even worse. Dervis also maintained that the political climate in Bangladesh makes it even more imperative to provide assistance to the country. He reiterated the UNDP is determined to build stronger democratic institutions and deeper practices of democracy because a successful democratic Bangladesh that can overcome political and economic difficulties will prove a stellar example to other low income countries, to the Muslim world and to many other countries facing similar problems. 

BANGLADESH SUPPORTS CHINA ON TIBET 
Senior government officials of Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh have expressed their countries' support for China's measures to stabilize the situation in Tibet. Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vu Dung in a meeting with Chinese ambassador to Vietnam, Hu Qianwen, said that "Vietnam fully supports the measures taken by China to stabilize the situation in Tibet." A spokesman of the Bangladeshi Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement expressing Bangladesh's solidarity with China on the Tibet issue. The official stated that "all matters pertaining to Tibet are internal affairs of China." Bangladesh hopes that the Beijing Olympic Games are a great success and would not like to see the games politicized by any organizations. When most of the world is crying out loud against Chinese atrocities on Tibetans, South Asia at government level, is predominantly quiet. 

BANGLADESH GARMENT INDUSTRY REVITALIZED 
Bangladesh's garment exports have grown strongly on the back of hefty business with major markets in Europe and the United States, signalling a recovery by the vital industry. Exports grew by 58 percent in January to 957 million dollars from the same month a year earlier. "It's a huge comeback for our garments industry. After some bad times, we have now shown our capability and there are signs that growth will remain robust", the head of the government's export promotion bureau Shahab Ullah said. Bangladesh's garment exports were performing poorly during the first five months of the fiscal year starting in July as a result of continued fallout from labor unrest and political turmoil. But things began to look up in December. Labour unrest has begun to decline with promises by companies to improve working conditions and low wages and there has been relative political stability since the installation of a military-backed government in early 2007. The garment trade is the main pillar of Bangladesh's manufacturing industry and accounts for 80 percent of overall exports and 40 percent of the country's industrial jobs. Anwar ul Alam Chowdhury Parvez, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said, "we have shown that we can beat China in prices and quality, and buyers from Europe and the US are now flocking in," Garment export sales fetched 9.3 billion dollars out of a total 12.18 billion dollars in export earnings in the last financial year to June 2007. According to predictions, this year's garment exports are likely to cross the 11 billion dollars threshold.    

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