· Bangladesh’s consumer market is set to become the ninth largest in the world, driven by innovation, a robust gig economy and young engaged workforce
· With average annual growth of 6.4 per cent over five years, the nation has outpaced India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand
DHAKA : Bangladesh is on course to become a US$1 trillion economy by 2040, driven by consumer optimism, innovation in emerging economic sectors and a young engaged workforce, according to analysts.
With average annual growth of 6.4 per cent between 2016 and 2021, the South Asian nation has outpaced peers such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand, Boston Consulting Group wrote in a report released on Friday.
Bangladesh’s domestic consumer market is set to become the ninth largest in the world. And a rapidly expanding middle and affluent class is projected to rise substantially between 2020 and 2025, the report said, with a robust gig economy propping up a workforce where the median age is just 28.
“The country could have easily been overshadowed by its neighbour to the northeast – China – or its continental cousin to the west – India – but in this region of economic powerhouses, Bangladesh stands tall,” BCG wrote.
Bangladesh progressed from a low-income to lower-middle-income country in 2015. Though that’s five years later than India, Bangladesh’s GDP per capita is already higher than its neighbour. The nation aims to become an upper-middle-income country by 2031.
Some challenges remain. Recent issues with liquidity, as well as foreign exchange and inflationary pressures, may slow growth in the short term, according to BCG. But Bangladesh has taken measures to position its US$416 billion economy for a lucrative few decades, so long as it maintains an average growth rate of about 5 per cent.
In a BCG survey analysis, 57 per cent of respondents “continue to believe the next generation would have better lives than themselves, especially as the country transitions to a skill-based economy.”
“Though the economy faces some near-term volatility, we are confident that this highly resilient economy will continue to demonstrate robust growth in the long term,” the report said.(South China Morning Post-AP pix)