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中国株レポート
投資の視点
新興成長国基礎データ
中華人民共和国
パプアニューギニア
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Geography

The People's Republic of Bangladesh covers an area of 143,998 square km. It is wholly enclosed by Indian territory, except for a short south-eastern frontier with Myanmar (formerly Burma) and a southern, deltaic coast fronting the Bay of Bengal. Most of Bangladesh consists of the still-growing, annually flooded Ganges-Brahmaputra delta.

Demography

Bangladesh had a total population of 122.3 million in 1992. The population is growing at 2.1% per annum according to government statistics. Despite improvements, infant mortality remains high at around 11.4% and life expectancy, at 52 years, relatively low. World Bank figures reveal that, in 1990, 43% of the population was aged 14 or under, and further that 84% lived in rural areas. The urban population grew by 6.2% per annum during the 1980s. The principal urban centre is Dhaka, the capital, with a 1987 population of 4.77 million, followed by Chittagong, with 1.84 million.

Despite the considerable emphasis placed on education by governments since independence, the literacy rate is about 35% among the adult population. In 1989 some 70% of the relevant age group was enrolled in primary education, only 17% in secondary and 4% in tertiary. Bengali is the official language, but English is widely spoken in government, commerce and industry.

A significant proportion of the workforce is engaged in subsistence agriculture and remains largely outside the money economy. The Bangladesh Economic Survey indicates that about 80% of the population depends directly or indirectly on agriculture for its livelihood.

History and Political Situation

Following the cessation of British rule in India in 1947, the country was divided such that the Muslim dominated areas in the north-east and north-west became respectively East and West Pakistan. Given the considerable distance between the two wings of the country , the different languages (Urdu in East and Bengali in West Pakistan) and cultures, political stablility at the outset was greater than might have been expected. However political control lay with the western wing of the country where the national government was based and in the army, the major organ of the Pakistan state, there was under-representation of East Pakistanis. Furthermore economically the East dominated West Pakistan and conditions were therefore ripe for growing resentment.

The malcontents came to be led by Sheikh Mujib ur Rahman and his Awami League (AL), which stood for the limitation of central authority to defence and foreign affairs and the retention by each wing of its own resources. Mujib was imprisoned in 1966, but released in 1969 with the fall of the President, Field-Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan. In the first general election held in 1971 on a one man one vote basis, the AL won all but two of the East's seats in both provincial and national assemblies and nationally held the largest number of seats of any political party. Therefore the AL felt entitled to demand Sheik Mujib's elevation to the post of Prime Minister. However, President Yahya Khan refused to accept Sheikh Mujib as Prime Minister. Sheikh Mujib, in turn, demanded the implementation of his party's radical form of autonomy and in March 1971 the Pakistan Army began its crack down and large numbers of Bangladeshis were massacred. Mujib was arrested and taken to West Pakistan. After India sided with East Pakistan, its independence became a reality and on December 16th, 1971 Bangladesh was born as a nation.

Sheikh Mujib became the first Prime Minister, confirmed with a sweeping majority in legislative elections held in March 1973. However, political stability was not easily maintained. The floods in 1974 led to widespread famine. In August 1975, a group of discontented young army officers staged a military coup and assassinated Mujib. Several changes in heads of state occurred as different factions within the military jostled for power, until General Zia ur Rahman took control of government in late 1976, becoming the chief martial law administrator. General Zia ur also took over the presidency in April 1977 and formed a new party, the Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Dal (BNP). The Parliamentary elections took place in 1979 with the BNP winning two-thirds of the seats, and a new government was formed by Azizur Rahman as prime minister with martial law lifted. Although Zia was assassinated during a failed coup, democracy was maintained.

Bangladesh again returned to Army Rule in 1982 when General Ershad seized power through a military coup. Ershad strengthened martial law controls and banned strikes and all political activities. In the subsequent surge of violence, the opposition alliances finally achieved their purpose, the step down of Ershad.

A democratic political system has been in force since the overthrow of President Ershad in December 1990. BNP won the following elections in February 1991 led by Khaleda Zia widow of Zia ur Rahman. The Constitution was amended in September 1991 to effect the political change to democracy with all executive powers vested in the Prime Minister.

Economy

Bangladesh's is predominantly an agrarian economy , with most people engaged in farming or fishing and often falling outside the money economy. The nation's climate and terrain mean that adverse weather, usually in the form of heavy flooding, constantly threatens to disrupt plans and make targets unattainable. Loss of both food and cash crops is a common occurrence, seriously disrupting the entire economy by precipitating unanticipated food import requirement and placing strains as well as shortfalls in exports. However, most of Bangladesh's soil is very rich and able to support intensive cultivation.

Prior to the independence in 1971, Bangladesh was the chief crop basket for Pakistan. Its major industries, which were mostly agricultural and garment based, were managed and owned by West Pakistanis who remitted most of their earnings to the West. Many of West Pakistan owned enterprises became state-owned companies because there was a lack in expertise.

Bangladesh has historically suffered from protectionism and a subsidy culture, tariff and non-tariff barriers, restrictive practices, over-regulation, corruption, and poor work ethic. Due to the above restriction, its businesses are generally financially ill-disciplined, wastage is high, productivity is low, access to credit is limited and the cost of credit is high.

From 1976 General Zia installed a programme of cautious disimvestment of public sector enterprises and sought to encourage a more substantial role for the private sector in the economy. Zia also stressed the need to double the annual output of foodgraines and the second five-year plan envisaged a rapid spread of modern irrigation and high-yielding varieties of serials. Denationalisation has been occurring slowly since 1978 but with particular emphasis on textiles in 1982. Subsequently, other industries have followed suit. The jute industry, once the largest export earner of Bangladesh (60% of GDP and accounts for 80% of world jute fibre exports) is still predominantly state-run and is now suffering from over-manning

The constraints to economic growth and development are severe. The opportunities for diversifying the economic base are limited and faced with a perennial trade deficit, the country relies very heavily on aid assistance. Ultimately, sustained development in Bangladesh will be possible only if substantial investment into the development of irrigation and flood-control.


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