Bangladesh

Introduction Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A military-backed caretaker regime suspended planned parliamentary elections in January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption; the regime has pledged new democratic elections by the end of 2008. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.
History

Remnants of civilisation in the greater Bengal region date back four thousand years,[4][5] when the region was settled by Dravidian, Tibeto-Burman, and Austro-Asiatic peoples. The exact origin of the word "Bangla" or "Bengal" is unknown, though it is believed to be derived from Bang, the Dravidian-speaking tribe that settled in the area around the year 1000 BC.[6]

After the arrival of Indo-Aryans, the kingdom of Gangaridai was formed from at least the seventh century BC, which later united with Bihar under the Magadha and Maurya Empires. Bengal was later part of the Gupta Empire from the third to the sixth centuries CE. Following its collapse, a dynamic Bengali named Shashanka founded an impressive yet short-lived kingdom. Shashanka is considered as the first independent king in the history of Bangladesh. After a period of anarchy, the Buddhist Pala dynasty ruled the region for four hundred years, followed by a shorter reign of the Hindu Sena dynasty. Islam was introduced to Bengal in the twelfth century by Sufi missionaries, and subsequent Muslim conquests helped spread Islam throughout the region.[7] Bakhtiar Khilji, a Turkish general, defeated Lakshman Sen of the Sena dynasty and conquered large parts of Bengal. The region was ruled by dynasties of Sultans and feudal lords for the next few hundred years. By the 16th century, the Mughal Empire controlled Bengal, and Dhaka became an important provincial centre of Mughal administration.

European traders arrived late in the 15th century, and their influence grew until the British East India Company gained control of Bengal following the Battle of Plassey in 1757.[8] The bloody rebellion of 1857, known as the Sepoy Mutiny, resulted in transfer of authority to the crown, with a British viceroy running the administration.[9] During colonial rule, famine racked the Indian subcontinent many times, including the Great Bengal famine of 1943 that claimed 3 million lives.[10]

Between 1905 and 1911, an abortive attempt was made to divide the province of Bengal into two zones, with Dhaka being the capital of the eastern zone.[11] When India was partitioned in 1947, Bengal was partitioned along religious lines, with the western part going to India and the eastern part joining Pakistan as a province called East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan), with its capital at Dhaka.[12]

In 1950, land reform was accomplished in East Bengal with the abolishment of the feudal zamindari system.[13] However, despite the economic and demographic weight of the east, Pakistan's government and military were largely dominated by the upper classes from the west. The Bengali Language Movement of 1952 was the first sign of friction between the two wings of Pakistan.[14] Dissatisfaction with the central government over economic and cultural issues continued to rise through the next decade, during which the Awami League emerged as the political voice of the Bengali-speaking population. It agitated for autonomy in the 1960s, and in 1966, its president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was jailed; he was released in 1969 after an unprecedented popular uprising.

In 1970, a massive cyclone devastated the coast of East Pakistan, and the central government responded poorly. The Bengali population's anger was compounded when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose Awami League won a majority in Parliament in the 1970 elections,[15] was blocked from taking office. After staging compromise talks with Mujib, President Yahya Khan arrested him on the early hours of March 26, 1971, and launched Operation Searchlight,[16] a sustained military assault on East Pakistan. Yahya's methods were extremely bloody, and the violence of the war resulted in many civilian deaths [17]. Chief targets included intellectuals and Hindus, and about ten million refugees fled to neighbouring India (LaPorte,[18] p. 103). Estimates of those massacred throughout the war range from three hundred thousand to 3 million.[19][20]

Most of the Awami League leaders fled and set up a government-in-exile in Calcutta, India. The Bangladesh Liberation War lasted for nine months. The guerrilla Mukti Bahini and Bengali regulars eventually received support from the Indian Armed Forces in December 1971. The Indian army, under the command of Lt. General J.S. Aurora, achieved a decisive victory over Pakistan on 16 December, 1971, taking over 90,000 prisoners of war[21] in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

After its independence, Bangladesh became a parliamentary democracy, with Mujib as the Prime Minister. In the 1973 parliamentary elections, the Awami League gained an absolute majority. A nationwide famine occurred during 1973 and 1974,[10] and in early 1975, Mujib initiated a one-party socialist rule with his newly formed BAKSAL. On August 15, 1975, Mujib and his family were assassinated by mid-level military officers.[22]

A series of bloody coups and counter-coups in the following three months culminated in the ascent to power of General Ziaur Rahman, who reinstated multi-party politics and founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Zia's rule ended when he was assassinated in 1981 by elements of the military.[22] Bangladesh's next major ruler was General Hossain Mohammad Ershad, who gained power in a bloodless coup in 1982 and ruled until 1990, when he was forced to resign under western donor pressure in a major shift in international policy after the end of communism when anti-communist dictators were no longer felt necessary. Since then, Bangladesh has reverted to a parliamentary democracy. Zia's widow, Khaleda Zia, led the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to parliamentary victory at the general election in 1991 and became the first female Prime Minister in Bangladesh's history. However, the Awami League, headed by Sheikh Hasina, one of Mujib's surviving daughters, clinched power at the next election in 1996 but lost to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party again in 2001. These two female ex-prime ministers are now in imprisonment in a sub-jail due to their suspected attachment with corruption.

In 11 January of 2007, following widespread violence, a caretaker government was appointed to administer the next general election. The country had suffered from extensive corruption,[23] disorder and political violence. The new caretaker government has made it a priority to root out corruption from all levels of government. To this end, many notable politicians and officials, along with large numbers of lesser officials and party members, have been arrested on corruption charges. The caretaker government claims to be paving the way for free and fair elections to be held before the end of 2008.

Geography Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India
Geographic coordinates: 24 00 N, 90 00 E
Map references: Asia
Area: total: 144,000 sq km
land: 133,910 sq km
water: 10,090 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Iowa
Land boundaries: total: 4,246 km
border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km
Coastline: 580 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin
Climate: tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)
Terrain: mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m
Natural resources: natural gas, arable land, timber, coal
Land use: arable land: 55.39%
permanent crops: 3.08%
other: 41.53% (2005)
Irrigated land: 47,250 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 1,210.6 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 79.4 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%)
per capita: 560 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: droughts, cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season
Environment - current issues: many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; water-borne diseases prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation; severe overpopulation
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal
Politics

Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy with Islam as the state religion[24]. Direct elections involving all citizens over the age 18 are held every five years for the unicameral parliament known as Jatia Sangsad. The parliament building is known as the Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban designed by architect Louis Kahn and currently has 345 members including 45 reserved seats for women, elected from single-member constituencies. The Prime Minister, as the head of government, forms the cabinet and runs the day-to-day affairs of state. While the Prime Minister is formally appointed by the President, he or she must be an MP who commands the confidence of the majority of parliament. The President is the head of state, a largely ceremonial post elected by the parliament.[25]

However the President's powers are substantially expanded during the tenure of a caretaker government, which is responsible for the conduct of elections and transfer of power. The officers of the caretaker government must be non-partisan and are given three months to complete their task. This transitional arrangement is an innovation that was pioneered by Bangladesh in its 1991 election and then institutionalised in 1996 through its 13th constitutional amendment.[26]

The Constitution of Bangladesh was drafted in 1972 and has undergone fourteen amendments.[26] The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court. Justices are appointed by the President. The judicial and law enforcement institutions are weak.[27] Separation of powers, judicial from executive was finally implemented on the 1st of November, 2007. It is expected that this separation will make the judiciary stronger and impartial. Laws are loosely based on English common law, but family laws such as marriage and inheritance are based on religious scripts, and therefore differ between religious communities.

The two major parties in Bangladesh are the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the Bangladesh Awami League. BNP is led by Khaleda Zia and finds its allies among Islamist parties like Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and Islami Oikya Jot, while Sheikh Hasina's Awami League aligns with leftist and secularist parties. Hasina and Zia are bitter rivals who have dominated politics for 15 years; both are women and each is related to one of the leaders of the independence movement. Another important player is the Jatiya Party, headed by former military ruler Ershad. The Awami League-BNP rivalry has been bitter and punctuated by protests, violence and murder. Student politics is particularly strong in Bangladesh, a legacy from the liberation movement era. Almost all parties have highly active student wings, and students have been elected to the Parliament.

Two radical Islamist parties, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) and Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), were banned in February 2005. Bomb attacks taking place since 1999 have been blamed on those groups, and hundreds of suspected members have been detained in numerous security operations, including the head of those two parties in 2006. The first recorded case of a suicide bomb attack in Bangladesh took place in November 2005.

The 22 January 2007 election was postponed indefinitely and emergency law declared in 11 January 2007 as Army backed caretaker government of Fakhruddin Ahmed aims to prepare a new voter list and crack down on corruption. The government aims to hold new elections by 2008 but a lack of coordination between the Election Commission and the Government and Politial Parties threatens to undermine this deadline. Recent activities of Government have created uncertainty about Election while Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, two leader of major Political parties BNP and Awami League who ruled the country for 15 years last, were detained and are facing criminal charges in court and the banned indoor politics is yet to be exercised.

Meanwhile the Bangladesh Military has expressed their interest in controlling the country with statements like "own brand of Democracy" and making changes in the constitution to allow military participation in politics. [28] They are also assisting the interim Government of Bangladesh in a drive against corruption which seems to be mostly targeted against the politicians and opponents. The military has also imposed censorship of the national media and closing down/hampering private TV stations.[29] Illegal detentions and torture to extract confessions have also become rampant.

People Population: 150,448,339 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 33.1% (male 25,639,640/female 24,174,937)
15-64 years: 63.4% (male 48,659,087/female 46,712,687)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 2,818,638/female 2,443,350) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 22.5 years
male: 22.5 years
female: 22.5 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.056% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 29.36 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 8.13 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.061 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.042 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.154 male(s)/female
total population: 1.052 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 59.12 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 60.13 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 58.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 62.84 years
male: 62.81 years
female: 62.86 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.09 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 13,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 650 (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: leptospirosis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)
Nationality: noun: Bangladeshi(s)
adjective: Bangladeshi
Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims) (1998)
Religions: Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1% (1998)
Languages: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 43.1%
male: 53.9%
female: 31.8% (2003 est.)
Government Country name: conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
conventional short form: Bangladesh
local long form: Gana Prajatantri Banladesh
local short form: Banladesh
former: East Bengal, East Pakistan
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Dhaka
geographic coordinates: 23 43 N, 90 24 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 6 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet
Independence: 16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is known as Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh
National holiday: Independence Day, 26 March (1971); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh
Constitution: 4 November 1972, effective 16 December 1972; suspended following coup of 24 March 1982, restored 10 November 1986; amended many times
Legal system: based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Iajuddin AHMED (since 6 September 2002)
note: the country has a caretaker government until a general election is held; Iajuddin AHMED remains as President and Minister of Defense, and all other Cabinet portfolios are held by Caretaker Advisers (CAs); the Chief CA, Fakhruddin AHMED, is roughly equivalent to a prime minister
elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election scheduled for 16 September 2002 was not held since Iajuddin AHMED was the only presidential candidate; he was sworn in on 6 September 2002 (next election NA); following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats is usually appointed prime minister by the president
election results: Iajuddin AHMED declared president-elect by the Election Commission; he ran unopposed as president; percent of National Parliament vote - NA
Legislative branch: unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad; 300 seats elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies; members serve five-year terms; note - parliament not in session during the extended caretaker regime
elections: last held 1 October 2001 (the scheduled January 2007 election has been postponed till late 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - BNP and alliance partners 41%, AL 40%, other 19%; seats by party - BNP 193, AL 58, JI 17, JP (Ershad faction) 14, IOJ 2, JP (Manzur) 4, other 12; note - the election of October 2001 brought to power a majority BNP government aligned with three other smaller parties - JI, IOJ, and Jatiya Party (Manzur)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (the chief justices and other judges are appointed by the president)
Political parties and leaders: Awami League or AL [Sheikh HASINA]; Bangladesh Communist Party or BCP [Saifuddin Ahmed MANIK]; Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda ZIA]; Islami Oikya Jote or IOJ [Mufti Fazlul Haq AMINI]; Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh or JIB [Matiur Rahman NIZAMI]; Jatiya Party or JP (Ershad faction) [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD]; Jatiya Party (Manzur faction) [Naziur Rahman MANZUR]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Badrudozza CHOWDHURY and Oli AHMED]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ADB, ARF, BIMSTEC, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador M. Humayun KABIR
chancery: 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-0183
FAX: [1] (202) 244-7830/2771
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Geeta PASI
embassy: Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212
mailing address: G. P. O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000
telephone: [880] (2) 885-5500
FAX: [880] (2) 882-3744
Flag description: green field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side of center; the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush vegetation of Bangladesh
Culture

A new state for an old nation, Bangladesh has a culture that encompasses elements both old and new. The Bengali language boasts a rich literary heritage, which Bangladesh shares with the Indian state of West Bengal. The earliest literary text in Bangla is the eighth century Charyapada. Bangla literature in the medieval age was often either religious (e.g. Chandidas), or adaptations from other languages (e.g. Alaol). Bangla literature matured in the nineteenth century. Its greatest icons are the poets Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Bangladesh also has a long tradition in folk literature, evidenced by Maimansingha Gitika, Thakurmar Jhuli or stories related to Gopal Bhar.

The musical tradition of Bangladesh is lyrics-based (Baniprodhan), with minimal instrumental accompaniment. The Baul tradition is a unique heritage of Bangla folk music, and there are numerous other musical traditions in Bangladesh, which vary from one region to the other. Gombhira, Bhatiali, Bhawaiya are a few of the better-known musical forms. Folk music of Bengal is often accompanied by the ektara, an instrument with only one string. Other instruments include the dotara, dhol, flute, and tabla. Bangladesh also has an active heritage in North Indian classical music. Similarly, Bangladeshi dance forms draw from folk traditions, especially those of the tribal groups, as well as the broader Indian dance tradition. Bangladesh produces about 80 films a year.[64] Mainstream Hindi films are also quite popular, as are films from Kolkata, which has its own thriving Bengali-language movie industry. Around 200 dailies are published in Bangladesh, along with more than 1800 periodicals. However, regular readership is low, nearly about 15% of the population.[65] Bangladeshis listen to a variety of local and national radio programmes from Bangladesh Betar, as well as Bangla services from the BBC and Voice of America. There is a state-controlled television channel, but in the last few years, privately owned channels have grown considerably.

The culinary tradition of Bangladesh has close relations to Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as having many unique traits. Rice and curry are traditional favourites. Bangladeshis make distinctive sweetmeats from milk products; some common ones are Rôshogolla, Chômchôm and Kalojam.

The sari (shaŗi) is by far the most widely worn dress by Bangladeshi women. However, the salwar kameez (shaloar kamiz) is also quite popular, and in urban areas some women wear Western attire. Among men, European dressing has greater acceptance. Men also use the kurta-paejama combination, often on religious occasions. The lungi, a kind of long skirt, is widely worn by Bangladeshi men.

The two Eids, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha are the largest festivals in the Islamic calendar. The day before Eid ul-Fitr is called Chãd Rat (the night of the Moon), and is often marked by firecrackers. Other Muslim holidays are also observed. Major Hindu festivals are Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja. Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, is one of the most important Buddhist festivals while Christmas, called Bôŗodin (Great day) in Bangla is celebrated by the minority Christian population. The most important secular festival is Pohela Baishakh or Bengali New Year, the beginning of the Bengali calendar. Other festivities include Nobanno, Poush parbon (festival of Poush) and observance of national days like Shohid Dibosh.

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Bangladesh. In 2000, the Bangladesh cricket team was granted Test cricket status and joined the elite league of national teams permitted by the International Cricket Council to play test matches. Other popular sports include football (soccer), field hockey, tennis, badminton, handball, volleyball, chess, carom, and kabadi, a seven-a-side team-sport played without a ball or any other equipment, which is the national sport of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Sports Control Board regulates twenty-nine different sporting federations.

Economy Economy - overview: The economy has grown 5-6% over the past few years despite inefficient state-owned enterprises, delays in exploiting natural gas resources, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, mainly in the Middle East and East Asia, fuel economic growth.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $209.2 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $70.6 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,400 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 19%
industry: 28.7%
services: 52.3% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 69.4 million
note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia; workers' remittances estimated at $4.8 billion in 2005-06. (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 63%
industry: 11%
services: 26% (FY95/96)
Unemployment rate: 2.5% (includes underemployment) (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: 45% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.7%
highest 10%: 27.9% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 33.4 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.8% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 26% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $7.078 billion
expenditures: $9.642 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 37.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry
Industries: cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar
Industrial production growth rate: 9.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 21.35 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 93.7%
hydro: 6.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 19.49 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 6,746 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - consumption: 86,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 1,100 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 81,010 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 28 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 13.43 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 13.43 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 135.8 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: $683 million (2007 est.)
Exports: $11.25 billion (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood (2001)
Exports - partners: US 24.9%, Germany 12.8%, UK 9.8%, France 5% (2006)
Imports: $14.91 billion (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement
Imports - partners: China 17.7%, India 12.5%, Kuwait 7.9%, Singapore 5.5%, Hong Kong 4.1% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $1.321 billion (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $5.293 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $20.25 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $4.208 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $105 million (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $3.61 billion (2006)
Currency (code): taka (BDT)
Currency code: BDT
Exchange rates: taka per US dollar - 69.893 (2007), 69.031 (2006), 64.328 (2005), 59.513 (2004), 58.15 (2003)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 1.134 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 19.131 million (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: totally inadequate for a modern country; fixed-line telephone density of less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density of 13 per 100 persons
domestic: modernizing; introducing digital systems; trunk systems include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some fiber-optic cable in cities
international: country code - 880; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East and Asia; satellite earth stations - 6; international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighboring countries (2007)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 15, FM 13, shortwave 2 (2006)
Radios: 6.15 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 15 (1999)
Televisions: 770,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .bd
Internet hosts: 376 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 10 (2000)
Internet users: 450,000 (2006)
Transportation Airports: 16 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 15
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 5 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
Pipelines: gas 2,644 km (2007)
Railways: total: 2,768 km
broad gauge: 946 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,822 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
Roadways: total: 239,226 km
paved: 22,726 km
unpaved: 216,500 km (2003)
Waterways: 8,370 km
note: includes up to 3,060 km main cargo routes; network reduced to 5,200 km in dry season (2006)
Merchant marine: total: 41 ships (1000 GRT or over) 328,530 GRT/468,509 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 27, container 6, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 4
foreign-owned: 1 (China 1)
registered in other countries: 9 (Comoros 1, Honduras 1, Malta 3, Panama 1, Singapore 2, St Vincent and The Grenadines 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Chittagong, Mongla Port
Military Military branches: Bangladesh Defense Force: Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force (Bangladesh Biman Bahini, BAF) (2008)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2005)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 35,170,019 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 26,841,255 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.5% (2006)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: discussions with India remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, exchange territory for 51 small Bangladeshi exclaves in India and 111 small Indian exclaves in Bangladesh, allocate divided villages, and stop illegal cross-border trade, migration, violence, and transit of terrorists through the porous border; Bangladesh resists India's attempts to fence or wall off high-traffic sections of the porous boundary; a joint Bangladesh-India boundary inspection in 2005 revealed 92 pillars are missing; dispute with India over New Moore/South Talpatty/Purbasha Island in the Bay of Bengal deters maritime boundary delimitation; 21,000 Burmese Rohingya Muslim refugees reside in two camps in Bangladesh
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 21,053 (Burma)
IDPs: 65,000 (land conflicts, religious persecution) (2006)
Illicit drugs: transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries