Country Focus Data: Bangladesh
October 01, 1998
by Mindy Dake
The capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka.
Demography: Population, 125.3 million, 1.82% growth rate (1997 estimates); Bangla (official) and English languages; Muslim (88%) and Hindu (11%) religions.
Geography: Mostly flat alluvial plain: tropical climate, monsoon June-October.
Government: Republic. Head of government is Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed; chief of state is President Shahabuddin Ahmed.
Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Food and Agriculture under Begum Matia Chowdhury. Economy: Mixed. Agriculture, primarily rice farming, accounts for 31% of gross domestic product and employs 65% of the labor force. Bangladesh is among the world's poorest countries, with impediments to growth including cyclones and floods, inefficient state-owned enterprises and slow implementation of economic reforms. G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$1,260; 4.7% growth rate.
Currency: The taka. Aug. 17 exchange rate: 46.94 taka per U.S. dollar.
Exports: U.S.$3.9 billion (1995-96 estimate); garments, jute and jute goods.
Imports: U.S.$6.8 billion (1995-96 estimate); capital goods, food, petroleum products.
Major crops/agricultural products: rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, beef, milk, poultry. Rice: Five-year milled production averaged 18.1 million tonnes in a range of 16.8 million to a projected 19 million in 1998-99. Consumption averaged 18.8 million tonnes. Imports are erratic, averaging 670,000 tonnes in a range of 1.1 million to a mere 46,000.
Wheat: Five-year production averaged 1.4 million tonnes. Imports averaged 1.2 million to meet average consumption of 2.6 million tonnes.
Transportation: Railroads, 2,892 km; 168,513 km highways, including 15,672 paved; major ports are Chittagong, Dhaka and Chalna Port (Mongla).