The success story of Bangladesh’s economic progress is being told today. In the
current of development, even the one-time critics have met today. Bangladesh has surpassed Pakistan in per capita income a long time ago, a few days ago it also surpassed its big neighbor India. With this, praise for Bangladesh is coming from different parts of the world.
Indian economist and columnist Mihir Sharma wrote a column in the influential US media Bloomberg on Tuesday about Bangladesh becoming increasingly influential in the South Asian economy.
Half a century ago, in March 1971, the founder of Bangladesh (Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) declared independence from a relatively richer and more powerful Pakistan. The country was born between famine and war; Millions fled to India or were martyred at the hands of Pakistani invaders. The Americans who supported the Pakistani military thought that the new country would fail. That is why the then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger called Bangladesh a ‘bottomless basket’
This month, Bangladesh’s cabinet secretary told reporters that the country’s per capita GDP rose more than 9 percent to 2,226 US dollars last year. Pakistan’s current per capita income is1,543. In 1971, Pakistan was 80 percent richer than Bangladesh; And today Bangladesh is 45 percent richer than Pakistan. That is why a Pakistani economist recently said in a depressed face, “Bangladesh has the potential to seek Pakistan’s help in 2030”.
Not only Pakistan, Mihir Sharma also compared the economic situation of India with Bangladesh. According to him, India has always been confident of being the only important economy in South Asia. But now we have to admit that they are poorer than Bangladesh in per capita income. In 2020-21, India’s per capita income is only 1,948 dollars.
But don’t expect India to recognize Bangladesh’s success: the country’s right-wing leaders still believe Bangladesh is so poor that illegal immigrants are crossing the border. But the reality is that Bangladesh is much richer than the Indian states where Hindutva nationalist politicians still call Bangladeshis ‘ants’. The point is, Mississippi is excited to stop illegal immigration from Canada.
Perhaps this is why India’s social media exploded with anger and denial when the GDP figures were announced. In contrast, the Bangladeshi media has rarely made comparisons. This is a testament to the growing confidence that is building in them.
According to this Bloomberg column, Bangladesh’s growth has been based on three main factors: exports, social development and financial foresight. Between 2011 and 2019, Bangladesh’s exports increased by 7.8 percent per annum, while the global export growth rate was only 0.4 percent. And this success has come about due to the strict focus on export products with special benefits like garments.