Bangladesh has been in the past one of the least developed countries in the world but that is changing. Bangladesh is now the 32nd largest in the world by purchasing power parity and is classified among next eleven emerging market economies. According to the IMF, Bangladesh’s economy is the second fastest growing major economy of 2016 with a rate of 7.1%. Dhaka is the wealthiest regional area having an annual GDP of US$231 billion and Chittagong serves as the largest export hub of the country.
Throughout last decade Bangladesh has averaged a GDP growth of 6.5% leading the country to becoming an export-oriented industrialization. In recent years, Bangladesh has seen a major surge in exports stemming from the Bangladesh textile industry, second largest in the world, along with emerging Pharmaceutical, Defense, and IT industries. The country’s exports are projected to exceed US$50 billion by 2021.
The cost of doing business in Bangladesh is highly competitive in comparison to other economies in the region. Mineral Resources include Natural gas, limestone, hard rock, coal, lignite, silica, sand, white clay, radio active sand, etc and there is a strong possibility of some oil deposits. The Government are actively encouraging new natural gas based industries including:-
Bangladesh has official gas reserves of about 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) although various studies conducted by US survey groups, Unocal the US energy group and Petrobangla, the state energy corporation, have concluded that the reserves are nearer to 65 tcf and maybe even higher. On this question no one really knows for sure as Bangladesh has perhaps one of the last great remaining unexplored gas deposits in the World.
The primary concern of the Government has been to ensure that there is enough gas being produced to service domestic production. Unfortunately economic and operating conditions in the country have not been conducive for Oil & Gas exploration companies to invest into new fast track gas development and thereby exploiting the huge reserves. For this reason the whole question of exporting gas and India’s willingness to buy it has been one of the greatest and most sensitive political issues in Bangladesh.
There is a massive demand for fertilizer in Bangladesh as agriculture is a principal sector of the economy and low cost textiles are also a major export.
The private sector power generation policy announced in 1996 under which private power companies are exempt from income tax for 15 years. Several barge-mounted power plants are in operation. But an extensive demand gap for electricity is crucial. Opportunities exist in developing new plants (barge-mounted and other, large, small and mini), constructing transmission and distribution system, rehabilitating or upgrading existing plants and supplying a variety of support services. Investment opportunities are available on a number of different basis.