I remember being in school and whenever Bangladesh was mentioned it would be about the floods, poverty or overpopulation; every time a picture would be put up at least one person would make a comment along the lines of “hey do you know who that is?”. There were about 4 or 5 Bengalis in my year and we typically weren’t able to defend our country from the slander. I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that the issues aren’t found in Bangladesh, but we have seen so much progress and personally I see so much potential for Bangladesh to become one of those emerging markets that is so hyped by todays economists and businesspeople. We have the resources, people and the willpower to see the current state of Bangladesh improve.
One of the the things I take notice of is GDP, it’s short for gross domestic product. Essentially, it is the market value of all goods and services produced within a country per annum
If we look at the GDP of Bangladesh at intervals over the last 10 years, looking at sources including World Bank
2017 – 249.7 Billion USD (1516.51 USD Per Capita)
2015 – 195.1 Billion USD (1210.16 USD Per Capita)
2013 – 150 Billion USD (951.89 USD Per Capita)
2009 – 102.5 Billion USD (681.12 USD Per Capita)
This is of course an average but doesn’t show how fairly distributed it is, some people are earning more and some significantly lower. In terms of the local currency 1500 USD is roughly 126,000 Taka.
It’s hard to understand exactly how much money that is when you consider the costs out there are a lot lower but according to Numbeo these are the costs for some basic expenses.
Rent Per month (1 bedroom) in the city centre is roughly 11,000 Taka per month (132,000 Taka per annum) and outside city centre is roughly 7,000 pcm (84,000 per annum). If we compare this to the average salary then after the basic necessity of having a roof over your head it leaves/little to no money for necessities like clothing, food, utilities.
Cost of living in Bangladesh is 53.75% lower than in United Kingdom (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). Rent in Bangladesh is 82.71% lower than in United Kingdom (average data for all cities)
(2016) UK GDP per capita is 39,899.39, the GDP per capita of Bangladesh 96.59% percent less than the UK.
Putting all this into perspective, the average person doesn’t have room for making savings which means a lot of people have to work until a later age and aren’t able to make investments into their local and wider community. Also, this puts pressure on other members of the family to also get a job, usually at ages much younger than typically seen in the UK. Working often becomes more important than education, an education that can help these young people create a massive impact on their society; this opportunity is stolen from them due to need.
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Tanvir Shahjahan – Check out some of my other posts here