Bangladesh has achieved consistent economic growth and improved wellbeing for its people, against all odds

In the early 1970s, Bangladesh might have been considered a failed country – a devastating war followed a terrible cyclone, the economy deteriorated, poverty was endemic and political tension was high.

In the 40 years since then, there has been a transformation. Food security is within reach, maternal deaths and early childhood deaths are falling, and the country has achieved gender parity in attendance of primary schools.

Since the early 1990s this country of 155 million has been the most successful in Asia in pulling its people out of poverty. And for the whole of the past decade, Bangladesh’s economic growth has averaged more than 6% a year. Alongside a vibrant apparel sector, new industries are growing – Bangladesh is becoming a booming rural solar giant for example, with up to 50,000 home solar installations per month.

Despite the progress, there is also plenty that is troubling. A third of Bangladeshis continue to live below the official poverty line. The recent 2014 elections were internationally considered a sham, bringing the re-election of the only party and its leader Sheikh Hasina.

Low-lying Bangladesh has always been at the mercy of bad weather, and now analysis from Maplecroft rates it as the most sensitive to...

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Bangladesh  labour practices  living wage  Rana Plaza  social advancement  South Asia briefing 

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