Bangladesh Economic Structure

March 10, 2010Bangladeshby EconomyWatch Content


 A developing country, Bangladesh was the world’s 48th largest economy as of 2008, as graded by the International Monetary Fund. At US$1,500, the per capita income of the country is much lower than its neighbors India and Pakistan. During the first decade of the 21st century, Bangladesh’s economy grew at a rate of 6%-7% annually. 

Bangladesh Economic Structure: Main Sectors

The economic structure of Bangladesh can be divided into the following three sectors:


  • Primary Sector: With 45% of the workforce engaged in the primary sector (est. 2008), Bangladesh can be called an agrarian economy. Agriculture contributes 30% of the country's GDP and enables Bangladesh to achieve its macroeconomic objectives, including food security, poverty alleviation, human resources development and employment generation. Cooperatives are increasingly motivating farmers to employ modern machinery. Bangladesh primarily produces jute, rice, tobacco, tea, sugarcane, pulses and wheat. According to the composition of sub sectors, the crop sector contributes 72% of the production, followed by Fisheries at 10.33%, livestock at 10.11% and forestry at 7.33%. The unpredictable weather and natural calamities disrupt the country’s economy frequently. To overcome this problem, the government has constructed several irrigation projects to conserve rainwater and control floods. The projects also include controlling pests and using high quality seeds. 

  • Secondary Sector: This sector mainly comprises of small and medium enterprises that give employment to 30% of the country’s workforce (est. 2008). It generates 25% of the GDP and 40% of the gross manufacturing output. Bangladesh’s light engineering sector is one of the largest and most diverse, producing a wide variety of machinery and spare parts. There are several mills and factories, producing jute, garments, cotton, paper, textile, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers, among other things. Some major manufacturing industries are railways, tea plantation & processing industries, construction sector, ferry and transport. Infrastructure is developing swiftly in terms of water distribution, power supply, communications and transportation. Bangladesh features a prominent wealth of coal mines. 

  • Tertiary Sector: In the last two decades, Bangladesh has seen incredible growth in its service sector. As of 2008, 25% (2008 est.) of the country’s workforce was employed in this sector. Although this percentage is lesser than the primary and secondary sectors, a large part of the country’s GDP comes from service sector. The hospitality industry, in particular, has shown considerable growth.


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