Why is Bangladesh considered to be a Less Developed Country and what needs to happen for this to help it become a More Economically Developed country like Thailand or Malaysia?".
Bangaldesh gained its independence from pakistan in 1971 and as the former Indian state of east Bengal it has always been in severe economic straits. This is principally because it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and its economy is based chiefly on subsistence farming which has practically ruined the landscape. The country is also prone to natural disasters as it is situated in low lying areas where flooding is a regular occurence and this has an obviously severe effect on the population, most of which lose their homes on a regular basis while millions more are displaced due to these disasters (Lewis 2011).
There was been some effort of late to diversify the economy but a much larger effort needs to be undertaken for this to happen. Other Far Eastern countries like Thailand and malaysia have diversified their economy decades ago, with the former basing its economy on tourism and the latter on financial services (Lewis 2011). However Bangladesh remains at a distinct disadvantage to make this happen as it is a landlocked country and some of its borders are also disputed. The country also suffers from a lack of political stability so it is crucial that this is sorted out first before any attempt is made to really enter the big league where the economy is concerned (Quisumbing 2011).
An area which Bangladesh can explore with greater zest is the services industry. With a potential workforce of over 100 million, the country is definitely ready to take on the economic challenge. There already exists a substantial industry in manufacturing where several companies have their own factories although this is obviously cheap labour and is not of any singular benefit to the nation’s economic growth. Bangladesh should attempt to attract more business in this regard but should also offer tax incentives for companies to set up business there. This is an ideal way to grow the economy and with its relatively safe environment, Bangladesh can also be a base for such companies to set up there. Other industries such as aquaculture can also be considered (Quisumbing 2011).
Other strains which could be explored include the tourism industry although this is still in its nascent stage. The country is rather remote and can only be reached by selected flights with the national airline being rather unreliable. A whole sale reform has to be undertaken in this area and proper training be given to the workforce who are interested in this career path. The technology area could also be explored where manufacturing of mobile phones/computers and/or call centres can also be set up relatively cheaply and without much ado (Lewis 2011).
Although Bangladesh has many natural disadvantages and is not blessed with a vast landscape like India or its former country, Pakistan, there is still a lot of potential if the cards are played right. Naturally, a huge amount of work still needs to be done for economic ambitions to become a reality but with proper planning and an indomitable will, this definitely can be achieved. Bangladesh could become a hub for tourism, telecommunications and skilled manufacturing with sound foreign investment and a proper legal framework to amke this all happen (Lewis 2011).
Quisumbing A (2011); Women’s aquaculture in Bangladesh; http://genderaquafish.org/2011/06/14/bangaldesh-women%E2%80%99s-aquaculture-assets-built-faster-through-groups/
India to sign protocol with Bangaldesh on Sunderbans; http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90777/90851/7132860.html
Lewis D (2011); Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society; Cambridge University Press