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<ul><li><p>Country Profile 2005 </p><p>Bangladesh This Country Profile is a reference work, analysing the countrys history, politics, infrastructure and economy. It is revised and updated annually. The Economist Intelligence Units Country Reports analyse current trends and provide a two-year forecast. </p><p>The full publishing schedule for Country Profiles is now available on our website at The Economist Intelligence Unit 15 Regent St, London SW1Y 4LR United Kingdom </p></li><li><p>The Economist Intelligence Unit </p><p>The Economist Intelligence Unit is a specialist publisher serving companies establishing and managing operations across national borders. For over 50 years it has been a source of information on business developments, economic and political trends, government regulations and corporate practice worldwide. </p><p>The Economist Intelligence Unit delivers its information in four ways: through its digital portfolio, where its latest analysis is updated daily; through printed subscription products ranging from newsletters to annual reference works; through research reports; and by organising seminars and presentations. The firm is a member of The Economist Group. </p><p>London The Economist Intelligence Unit 15 Regent St London SW1Y 4LR United Kingdom Tel: (44.20) 7830 1007 Fax: (44.20) 7830 1023 E-mail: </p><p>New York The Economist Intelligence Unit The Economist Building 111 West 57th Street New York NY 10019, US Tel: (1.212) 554 0600 Fax: (1.212) 586 0248 E-mail: </p><p>Hong Kong The Economist Intelligence Unit 60/F, Central Plaza 18 Harbour Road Wanchai Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2585 3888 Fax: (852) 2802 7638 E-mail: </p><p> Website: </p><p>Electronic delivery This publication can be viewed by subscribing online at </p><p>Reports are also available in various other electronic formats, such as CD-ROM, Lotus Notes, on-line databases and as direct feeds to corporate intranets. For further information, please contact your nearest Economist Intelligence Unit office </p><p>Copyright 2005 The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited. </p><p>All information in this report is verified to the best of the authors and the publishers ability. However, the Economist Intelligence Unit does not accept responsibility for any loss arising from reliance on it. </p><p>ISSN 0269-8145 </p><p>Symbols for tables n/a means not available; means not applicable </p><p>Printed and distributed by Patersons Dartford, Questor Trade Park, 151 Avery Way, Dartford, Kent DA1 1JS, UK. </p></li><li><p>Country Profile 2005 The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2005 </p></li><li><p>Bangladesh 1 </p><p> The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2005 Country Profile 2005 </p><p>Contents </p><p>Bangladesh </p><p>3 Basic data </p><p>4 Politics 4 Political background 5 Recent political developments 8 Constitution, institutions and administration 10 Political forces 12 International relations and defence </p><p>15 Resources and infrastructure 15 Population 16 Education 17 Health 17 Natural resources and the environment 18 Transport, communications and the Internet 22 Energy provision </p><p>24 The economy 24 Economic structure 26 Economic policy 30 Economic performance 31 Regional trends </p><p>32 Economic sectors 32 Agriculture 35 Mining and semi-processing 35 Manufacturing 37 Construction 37 Financial services 40 Other services </p><p>40 The external sector 40 Trade in goods 41 Invisibles and the current account 42 Capital flows and foreign debt 43 Foreign reserves and the exchange rate </p><p>44 Regional overview 44 Membership of organisations </p><p>45 Appendices 45 Sources of information 46 Reference tables 46 Population 46 Energy reserves and production of natural gas 47 Transport 47 Gross domestic product </p></li><li><p>2 Bangladesh </p><p>Country Profile 2005 The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2005 </p><p>48 Gross domestic product by expenditure 48 Gross domestic product by sector 49 Central government finances 49 Money supply 50 Interest rates 50 Prices 50 Index of nominal wages 50 Agricultural crop production 51 Production and value of non-energy minerals 51 Production and value of selected manufactured items 52 Stockmarket indicators 52 Main exports 52 Main imports 53 Main trading partners 53 Balance of payments, IMF series 54 External debt, World Bank series 54 Remittances from Bangladeshis working abroad 55 Net official development assistance 55 Foreign reserves 55 Exchange rates </p></li><li><p>Bangladesh 3 </p><p> The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2005 Country Profile 2005 </p><p>Bangladesh </p><p>Basic data </p><p>147,570 sq km </p><p>135.2m (2003/04 fiscal year) </p><p>Population in 000 (2001 census) </p><p>Dhaka (capital) 9,913 Chittagong 3,203 Khulna 1,227 Rajshahi 647 </p><p>Tropical monsoon </p><p>Hottest month, July, 23-35C (average daily minimum and maximum); coldest month, January, 11-28C; driest months, December and January, 5 mm average monthly rainfall; wettest month, July, 567 mm average monthly rainfall </p><p>Bengali; Urdu and Hindi are minority languages and English is also used </p><p>Muslim (89.7% in 2001 census); Hindu (9.2%); Buddhist (0.7%); Christian (0.3%); others (0.2%) </p><p>Imperial system. Local measures include: 1 tola=11.66 g; 1 seer=80 tolas=932 g; 1 maund=40 seers=37.29 kg </p><p>Numbers are commonly expressed in crores and lakhs; 1 crore=10m, written 1,00,00,000; 1 lakh=100,000, written 1,00,000 </p><p>Taka (Tk)=100 paisa. Annual average exchange rate in 2004: Tk59.5:US$1; exchange rate on November 8th 2005: Tk65.75:US$1 </p><p>July 1st-June 30th </p><p>6 hours ahead of GMT </p><p>January 1st (New Years Day), 21st (Eid-ul-Adha); February 10th (Elam Hejir New Year); March 17th (Birthday of Bagabethu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman), 26th (Independence Day); April 14th (Bangla Naba Barsha), 29th (Buddha Purnima); May 1st (Labour Day); September 2nd (Shab-e Barat), October 11th (Durga Puja); November 3rd (End of Ramadan), 7th (National Revolution Day); December 16th (Victory Day); plus religious holidays that depend on lunar sightings and optional holidays for different religious groups. </p><p>Land area </p><p>Climate </p><p>Weather in Dhaka </p><p>Languages </p><p>Measures </p><p>Fiscal year </p><p>Time </p><p>Population </p><p>Main towns </p><p>Religion </p><p>Currency </p><p>Public holidays in 2005 </p></li><li><p>4 Bangladesh </p><p>Country Profile 2005 The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2005 </p><p>Politics </p><p>Bangladesh has a parliamentary democracy based on universal suffrage. The executive branch of government consists of a cabinet led by the prime minister. The Awami League (AL), led by Sheikh Hasina Wajed, ruled for five years until July 2001, when an interim caretaker government was established. The general election held in October that year was won by a four-party alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) under the prime minister, Khaleda Zia, which is still in government. The BNP dominates the alliance, with a large parliamentary majority in its own right. The Jamaat-e-Islami (Jamaat), an Islamist party, is its largest coalition partner; the Islami Oikyo Jote (IOJ) and the Manjur faction of the Jatiya Party (JP) complete the government. A caretaker government will be appointed in October 2006 to supervise the next election, which must then be held within 90 days. Bangladesh had a presidential form of government before the constitution was amended in 1991, but the presidency is now a largely ceremonial position appointed by parliament. </p><p>Political background </p><p>The eastern part of Bengal became part of Pakistan with the end of British rule in India in 1947. From the beginning, East Pakistan had an uneasy relationship with the more powerful and richer West Pakistan. Despite some concessions from the West Pakistan government, such as the approval of Bengali as a joint official language with Urdu, and the division of Pakistan into two parts (East and West) with equal parliamentary representation, a secessionist movement led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the AL gained increasing support. In 1970 Sheikh Mujib led the AL to parliamentary victory in East Pakistan and demanded a loose federation of the two parts of Pakistan, in which a central authority would be responsible only for foreign affairs, the currency and defence. On March 26th 1971 separatist forces declared independence, and a full-scale civil war broke out. This was eventually won by the Bengali freedom fighters, after the Indian military intervened on their behalf, on December 16th 1971. </p><p>Sheikh Mujib led the AL to an electoral victory in 1973, but the economic and political situation began to deteriorate rapidly. Sheikh Mujib declared a state of emergency in late 1974 and in early 1975 he became president, assuming dictatorial powers through one-party rule. He and several of his family members were assassinated in August 1975. A series of further coups ensued, but by 1977 General Ziaur Rahman had consolidated his power and assumed the presidency. </p><p>General Zias period in power was characterised by improvements in public order and economic management. In June 1978 he won the presidential election, and in the following year his newly formed party, the BNP, won two-thirds of the seats in parliament. However, in May 1981 General Zia was assassinated by a group of army officers. In March 1982 the army chief, General </p><p>Independence from Pakistan </p><p>The early years </p><p>General Zia is ousted by the army </p></li><li><p>Bangladesh 5 </p><p> The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2005 Country Profile 2005 </p><p>Hossain Mohammad Ershad, took power in a bloodless coup, replacing Justice Abdus Sattar, who had briefly succeeded General Zia after his assassination. </p><p>General Ershad attempted to hold parliamentary and presidential elections to legitimise his position, but the principal opposition parties refused to participate, arguing that any election would be unfair under martial law. In March 1985 he banned political activities and staged a presidential election, in which he declared himself the winner, despite a dismal voter turnout. His autocratic rule provoked violent riots, and in 1987 the main opposition groups began a campaign to force him out. Three years of violence followed, during which General Ershad proclaimed a state of emergency and arrested opposition activists. In December 1990 General Ershad relinquished power to a neutral caretaker government, which organised a free and fair election in February 1991. General Ershad and many of his cronies faced charges of corruption and illegal possession of arms. He was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment in 1991, but was released in January 1997 in recognition of his Jatiya Partys support for the newly elected AL government. </p><p>The 1991 election was won by the BNP, led by Khaleda Zia, General Zias widow. In parliament, there was initially a shaky truce between the AL and the BNP government. However, after alleged irregularities by the BNP during a February 1994 by-election all opposition parties boycotted parliament, demanding that the government resign and a general election be held. Although the BNP government dissolved parliament in late 1995, the opposition boycotted the general election in February 1996 because Mrs Zia had refused to step down before the election. The BNP claimed victory in a low-turnout election, but as violence escalated it was forced to transfer power to a caretaker government. </p><p>In the June 1996 election, supervised by a caretaker government, the AL, led by Sheikh Mujibs daughter, Sheikh Hasina Wajed, won a majority of the seats in parliament and formed a government with support from the Jatiya Party led by General Ershad. The AL government repealed the Indemnity Ordinance, passed in 1975 to protect the assassins of Sheikh Mujib. A trial of some of the accused began in January 1997. In November 1998, 15 former soldiers were sentenced to death, although most of them had already fled the country in the meantime. </p><p>Recent political developments </p><p>The AL government made an arrangement with India to share the water of the Ganges river; it ended a 20-year insurgency by concluding a peace treaty with tribal rebels in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, repaired the devastation of the 1998 floods, and oversaw moderately high rates of economic growth. However, the AL government failed to resolve crippling power shortages and to prevent an alarming deterioration in law and order. Intense political antagonism between the AL and the BNP continued throughout the Hasina administration. Emulating previous AL tactics to undermine political stability, the BNP boycotted parliament and elections under AL rule. The government of </p><p>The AL steps down peacefully </p><p>The re-establishment of democracy </p><p>The AL government </p><p>General Ershads rule </p></li><li><p>6 Bangladesh </p><p>Country Profile 2005 The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2005 </p><p>Sheikh Hasina completed its five-year term in July 2001 before agreeing to make way for a caretaker government. This orderly transfer of power was a milestone in the maturation of democracy in Bangladesh. </p><p>The four-party alliance led by the BNP won a landslide victory in the general election held on October 1st 2001. The alliance captured 219 seats, with the BNP alone taking 195 seats in the 300-member parliament. The AL won 58 seats, compared with 146 seats in the previous election held in June 1996. The BNP-led alliance won 46.9% of the votes cast, and the AL received 40.1%. Jamaat, an Islamist party and a partner in the BNP-led coalition, won 17 parliamentary seats. The JP won 14 seats, making it the second-largest opposition party. </p><p>During the first four years in office the four-party alliance oversaw steady economic growth of 5-6% a year, and some progress was made in areas such as poverty reduction and social development. However, the alliance failed to deliver on two key election promisescurbing corruption and improving law and order. Corruption remains a serious problem, and the law and order situation has, if anything, worsened under its tenure. The perpetrators of the assassination of the AL politician, Shah A M S Kibria, and of the August 2004 bomb attack on an AL rally, in which 21 people were killed, are still at large. Moreover, the highly co-ordinated attacks in August 2005, in which more than 350 bombs went off in 63 of Bangladeshs 64 districts, seem to have vindicated fears of Talibanisation and of Bangladesh becoming a base for international terrorism. In February 2005 the government banned two Islamic organisationsthe Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB)but had previously denied that there were any militants operating in the country. Thus, the BNP has faced criticism for not having cracked down on religious extremism earlier. The governments position to adopt a firm stance against religious extremism has been complicated by its reliance on the support of two Muslim parties, the Jamaat and...</p></li></ul>


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