Three ways Bangladesh could be the next ‘Asian Tiger’ economy

As one of Asia’s top performing economies in recent years, Bangladesh has boasted an average annual growth rate of 6 percent. A recent comment piece from Business Insider suggested that the country could one day achieve first-world status.

For those who don’t know "Asian Tigers" refers to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, which all underwent massive economic expansion from the 1960s to the 1990s. For more information on Singapore, feel free to read the article I wrote after my visit in 2016.

Here are three ways the country could become the next “Asian Tiger”.

1. Diversify!

The Bangladeshi economy is currently dependent on low-end manufacturing, particularly garments. If the country is to become the nation’s it emulates, there needs to be a strong move into other revenue streams with high potential to add value.

2. Invest in infrastructure

Infrastructure connections in Bangladesh are poor which forms a massive barrier to trade and puts off foreign companies looking to invest and set up operations in the country. Power generation is also patchy and unreliable. Not only will a large scale infrastructure programme improve these factors immeasurably, there will also be a jobs and talent boost for the country to boot.

3. Improve the investment climate

For many business from abroad, Bangladesh is fraught with red tape and lengthy waits for processes and documentation to be completed. In today’s world of fast fashion and swift delivery times, this is simply not acceptable to many companies.

The government is making headway here, though. Working with the World Bank, Bangladesh is planning to expedite the process of starting a business (to seven days instead of 19.5 days), issuing construction permits within 60 days (instead of the current 278 days) and reducing the time it takes for a company to be connected to the national grid to 28 days (compared with 404 days at present). 

Read the April issue of Business Review Asia. 

Follow @BizRevAsia and @MrNLon on Twitter.

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