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Bangladesh is a Next Eleven developing nation with a US$175 billion economy and a per capita income of US$1,190. The Taka is the currency of Bangladesh. The central bank is the Bangladesh Bank. The service sector accounts for 51% of GDP, the industrial sector 30% and agriculture 18%. Bangladesh is a major agricultural producer, particularly in the global production of rice (4th), fisheries (5th), jute (2nd), tea (10th) and tropical fruits (5th). Major industries include textiles, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, steel, electronics, telecommunications, energy, fertilizer, cement, leather, food processing and ceramics. The country has significant reserves of natural gas. Its exports amounted to US$30 billion in the fiscal year 2013-14. 70% of export earnings came from the textile industry, which is the world's fourth largest textile exporter (after China, India, Germany and Italy).  Remittances from the Bangladeshi diaspora and overseas workers provide vital foreign exchange earnings, accounting for US$14 billion in FY2013-14.

Bangladesh has a large, often inefficient, public sector, including state owned utilities, banks and industries. The government provides heavy subsidies for fuel prices and irrigation. Since the British Raj, jute and tea were the backbones of the economy. East Bengal once accounted for 80% of the world jute trade, which peaked during the Second World War. Bangladesh has 150 tea gardens, including many of the world's largest plantations.

After independence, the international community poured substantial foreign aid into Bangladesh to help develop its infrastructure, education, healthcare and demographic prospects. Today, the country has decreased its dependency on foreign aid from 85% (in 1988) to 2% (in 2010), for the annual development budget.  Since 2004, the economy has grown at an average rate of 6%. Bangladesh has seen rising foreign direct investment, particularly in energy, telecoms and export processing zones. Bangladesh has one of the largest financial industries in South Asia.  Its twin stock markets are the Dhaka Stock Exchange and the Chittagong Stock Exchange.

The telecoms industry in Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, with 114 million cellphone subscribers in December 2013. The pharmaceutical industry meets 97% of domestic demand and exports to 52 countries. The shipbuilding industry has seen rapid growth in recent years. The steel industry in Bangladesh is concentrated in the port city of Chittagong. The boom in shipbuilding, construction and real estate buoys it. Bangladesh is increasing its export of ceramics, particularly bone china and porcelain. It is a major exporter of fish, seafood, frozen food and processed food products. It has a fast growing solar power industry and ranks as the country with the fifth-largest number of green jobs.

A significant contributor to the economy is the microfinance sector. Pioneered by Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank in the late 1970s, it has grown to include more than thirty million borrowers and has lent billions of dollars in microcredit loans.The industry stimulates a dynamic rural economy, supporting entrepreneurship in agriculture, cottage industries and small businesses. Microcredit organizations such as BRAC and Grameen Bank have diversified into education, housing and renewable energy.

Transport is a major sector in the Bangladesh economy. The country has a 2,706 km rail network operated by the Bangladesh Railway. It has 8,046 km of navigable waterways. The Port of Chittagong is the busiest seaport, handling over US$60 billion in annual trade.More than 80% of the country's export-import trade passes through Chittagong. The second largest seaport is the Port of Mongla. The insufficient power supply is a significant obstacle to growth. According to the World Bank, poor governance, corruption and weak public institutions are major challenges for Bangladesh's development. In April 2010, Standard & Poor's awarded Bangladesh a BB- long term credit rating, which is below India and above Pakistan and Sri Lanka

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