The Bangladesh Economy

TheBangladesh Economy

June28, 2014.

TheBangladesh Economy

Isthe country governed by ‘roving bandits’ or ‘stationarybandits’?

Bangladeshhas been recognized globally for its great achievement strides in thesocial and human development sector through her positive strides inpromoting universal primary education, gender equity, populationcontrol, health and improved food production. However, the country isstill facing its share of challenges in the social, political,economic and environmental sector. Among these challenges arepoverty, political instability, corruption, climatic change andoverpopulation. Most countries in the East and South Asia has hadlong decades of high end corruption and bad governance. For instance,it is not until 1991 that Bangladeshi had lawful government in poweror the ‘rule of law,’ previously the country was among the worstEast and South Asian countries with poor governance and high cases ofpublic resources mismanagement. The bad governance and politicaluneasiness facilitated crony capitalisms that inhibited economicdevelopment. For long corruption has marred economic, social andpolitical progress in Bangladeshi. These aspects combined withoccasional political unrests have slowed the progress of economicdevelopment (CentralIntelligence Agency, 2012).

Thegovernments ruling in the period before 1994 in Bangladeshi could bewell described as ‘bandits’ for the political, social andeconomic unrest they created through coups, assassinations and grandcorruption. The ‘bandit’ type of government destroyed all theincentives for economic investments leaving the country strugglingeconomically. The country gross domestic product was way too belowthe average GDP of a country. Dependency on foreign loan stood at 85%in 1988 and the general economic status of the country was poor dueheightened corruption, poor governance and general lack ofinstitutionalized mechanisms to institute and implement effectiveeconomic policies. The governments that took leadership in the wakeof parliamentary democracy from 1990 to 2008 could clearly fall under‘roving bandits’ for the excesses created through highcorruption, embezzlement of public funds and political unrests. Asthe economic indicators in the appendix table indicates, partialstability in the government from 1994 has enhanced economic progress(CentralIntelligence Agency, 2012)..

TheGDP has progressively grown from 1994 to 2009 at an average rate of5.56, this figure has so far increased to 6.5% in 2011 and isexpected to improve as political stability and corruption ratingimproves. The government regimes in Bangladeshi between 2005 to datecould be said to fall under the ‘stationary bandits’ modelcorruption and mismanagement of public coffers is still rampant asindicated by the corruption perception index in 2009. The mostsignificant obstacle to Bangladeshi economic development is weakinstitutions that acts as checks and balance on the use of publicfunds. Bangladeshi is a unitary parliamentary system withparliamentary committees that checks on government excesses(Central Intelligence Agency, 2012).

However,due to the unitary state of governance, these institutions are weakin the face of a strong prime minister who controls the majority ofparliament house members. Therefore, based on these assessments, thecurrent government which has institutionalized some measures forchecking corruption indicates some future optimism through continuedgrowth of economy, reduction in corruption and overall economicgrowth rate. Economic pundits are assesses that the country isgearing up to the next eleven in economic progress.


TableBangladeshi-Economic indicators

Economic indicators


Income per capita in 2009


Average economic growth rate 1994-2009


Fraction of re-elections in 1994-2009

3 re-elections

Corruption perception index in 2009


Lawful transition of power


Government checks and balances

Parliamentary Committees


CentralIntelligence Agency (2012). Bangladesh. TheWorld Factbook.Langley, Virginia: Central Intelligence Agency