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Key Economic Data 
  2004 2003 2002 Ranking(2004)
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: 052 - (28/05/10)

Russia and Bangladesh signed an agreement on cooperation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy to meet the growing power demand in the country. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov were present during the signing of the agreement between Russia’s atomic energy corporation Rosatom and the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Bangladesh had requested the Russian authorities to assist in establishing two nuclear reactors with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts each by 2015. The plants are expected to cost up to $2 billion and will begin generating electricity by 2014, officials of the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources said. Bangladesh has plans to set up the nuclear power plants at Rooppur, 200 km (125 miles) northwest of the capital Dhaka to help deal with growing power shortages. According to the agreement, Rosatom will help Bangladesh AEC in designing, construction and operation of nuclear power and research reactors. It will also supply nuclear fuel, take back spent nuclear fuel, manage nuclear waste, and train personnel for operation and maintenance of the plant. Growing concern over power shortages led Bangladesh to consider nuclear energy as natural gas reserves are fast depleting and most coalfields remain unexploited. Bangladesh now has nearly 60 power plants, mostly decades old and all fueled by gas or coal.

Bangladesh’s economy has recorded the slowest growth for the last seven years since the global recession hit exports and while drought and floods destroyed its agriculture and power industry. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), growth in 2010 stood at 5.54 percent, the lowest since 2002-2003. Zaid Bakht, head of the Research at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies said that since the industry is so heavily dependent on exports, the shipments were affected the most. Moreover, the energy crisis also severely crushed industrial growth. Bakht said farming had also had a bad year with prolonged drought and flash floods hitting crucial rice crops.

Bangladesh has enforced a restriction on movement of people along its borders with India during the night-time to avert frequent incidents of killings of its nationals in cross-border shootouts. The decision was taken in an inter-ministerial meeting with Home Minister Sahara Khatun. The local administrations were also asked to launch a motivational campaign to encourage representatives from local communities to dissuade people from moving along the borders at night. According to Odhikar, a rights group, a total of 910 Bangladeshis were killed between January 2000 and April 2010 in cross border firings. In a latest incident two Bangladeshis were killed and three others were wounded due to firing by the Border Security Force (BSF) at north-western Thakurgaon borders. Officials said India had also restricted night-time movement on its side of the border to evade cross-border casualties in shootout.

According to a report published by the BBC, Bangladesh is going to send female police officers to a foreign UN peacekeeping mission for the very first time. Demand for Bangladeshi police officers by the UN for its peacekeeping missions is increasing as they are famous for their professionalism. Presently there are 1,608 police personnel working in Congo, East Timor, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sudan. The female officers will be deployed in Haiti. According to the UN mandate, the women will be engaged in providing humanitarian assistance and community policing. Rokfar Sultana will lead the women’s group. The group is also going to work towards providing primary education, primary healthcare, protection on violence against women, prevention of HIV, Aids training and so on.

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