Bangladesh Post-Election Reform Priorities

January 30, 2024

By  Sadiq Ahmed

Development Context

Over the decade of FY2009-FY2019, Bangladesh experienced unprecedented acceleration of annual GDP growth that has transformed the Bangladesh economy in several meaningful ways. 

First, it has helped Bangladesh to climb from the list of poor countries to the group of Lower Middle-Income Country (LMIC) as defined by the World Bank.  Bangladesh crossed this threshold in 2015, well ahead of the target date of 2021 set under the Perspective Plan 2011-2021 (PP2021) 

Second, in 2018 Bangladesh crossed another global milestone by becoming eligible to graduate from the UN defined list of least developed countries (LDCs).  This graduation uses more stringent criteria than income only. LDC graduation requires progress with income (per capita GNI), Human Asset index (HAI) and Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI).

Third, Bangladesh secured remarkable progress with poverty reduction as measured by the headcount index using both lower poverty line (extreme poverty) and upper poverty line (moderate poverty). 

Fourth, Bangladesh registered impressive gains in human development indicators, especially in life expectancy. Many of the human development indicators are better than most LMIC and make Bangladesh a positive outlier when human development is measured against countries with similar per capita income. 

Research shows that many factors contributed to this development progress. In particular macroeconomic stability, expansion of investment rate funded by growing national savings rate, export orientation of the economy, and strong agriculture with focus on food self-sufficiency contributed handsomely to this progress.

We hope you’re enjoying Policy Insights.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Log In Subscribe

Sadiq Ahmed

Sadiq Ahmed is the Vice Chairman of the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh. He was previously at the World Bank, serving as country director for Pakistan and Afghanistan and chief economist for the South Asia region. He also led key missions to Egypt, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. He completed his PhD in Economics from Boston University. He has worked on topics of poverty reduction, governance, private sector, trade and macroeconomic. He has authored more than 30 books, policy research papers and articles on various development issues.