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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: 031 - (01/09/08)

INDIA-BANGLADESH TALKS UNDERWAY
India and Bangladesh Home Secretary level talks have begun with a focus on security and border management issues. Both sides have advanced proposals to tackle cross-border crimes and insurgency, develop an extradition treaty and create a policy that addresses the challenge of drugs and women trafficking. Indian Home Secretary, Madhukar Gupta said that both parties discussed a wide range of issues on border management. Asked about the signing of any extradition treaty to hand over criminals to their respective countries, he said there are several proposals from Indian side including the extradition and mutual legal assistance to deal with terrorists. Bangladesh Home Secretary Abdul Karim also spoke positively about the talks stating that both countries had discussed several issues in a friendly and cordial environment. 

FAO TO PROVIDE FOOD SECURITY 
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has assured Bangladesh of providing adequate help in ensuring food security. Calling upon Bangladesh’s Finance and Planning Adviser, Mirza Azizul Islam, FAO Asia Pacific Region head, Hey Cheng Chyue assured that the UN would assist the country in its fight against bird flu, ongoing agricultural census and research activities. “Bangladesh has got what is necessary for food security. If the country can utilise the potential, food security will be ensured,” he told reporters after the meeting. 
Mirza Aziz said the FAO official gave importance to developing hybrid as well as deep and saline water-resistant seeds to increase food production in the country while assuring technical assistance in this regard, if necessary. He said Cheng appreciated Bangladesh for taking food security measures like increasing the endowment fund for agricultural research and climate change fund. The adviser said they have undertaken initiatives on the issues of food security while the country has already made some progress in developing saline water-resistant seeds. 

NEW RESEARCH ON PETROLEUM 
Scientists in Bangladesh have developed ways to produce petroleum from degradable organic municipal waste and are now studying its feasibility before going to commercial production. This innovation in research was confirmed by Yunus Miah, principal engineer of the state-run Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR). Miah said the scientists were using husk of paddy and oil seeds besides wastes to decompose the garbage and produce bio-oil from these wastes. The bio-oil would then be upgraded to petroleum products. Dhaka produces around 15,000 tonnes of garbage daily and the cost of collecting it is only nominal but there are various restrictions in the way of taking technology to the field. Bangladesh imports most petroleum products, about 3.7 million tonnes annually. 
The country has limited coal and natural gas reserve. Its gas supply is short of the demand while the coal mines are largely undeveloped.

GRAMEENPHONE TO SELL BONDS 
Bangladesh's top mobile phone operator Grameenphone, majority owned by Norway's Telenor plans to raise 4.25 billion taka ($62 million) by selling bonds. The value of the two-year tenure bond will be 10 million taka each and the coupon rate will be no more than 14.50 percent, the Daily Star quoted an official at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the capital market regulator, as saying. Grameenphone has received the green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise the funds from the bond market, the official added. Analysts said Grameenphone's entry would give a major boost to the country's bond market. Last month, Grameenphone filed its regulatory application for a domestic listing. It plans to raise up to $150 million in a pre-IPO placement with international investors and a further $150 million in a local initial public offering, that would be the country's biggest flotation. Grameenphone leads the market with more than 20.8 million subscribers followed by Egyptian Orascom Telecom's ORTE.CA Banglalink with 10 million users and AKtel, majority owned by Telekom Malaysia International with 7.98 million as of July. Although nearly half of Bangladesh's population is still below the poverty line, the country has been one of the world's fastest growing cellular markets.
   

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