The Information Technology landscape in 
People's Republic of Bangladesh

About Bangladesh

Geographic Details
     Bangladesh is located in Southern Asia (24 00 N, 90 00 E), bordering the Bay of Bengal for 580  km, Burma for 193 km, and India for 4,053 km.  Slightly smaller than Wisconsin, the country comprises over 140,000 sq. km, 134,00 of which are land. Maritime claims include the contiguous zone (18 nm), the  exclusive economic zone (200 nm), and the territorial sea (2 nm). The weather is cool and dry from October to March, hot and humid from March to June, and cool and rainy from June to October. The terrain is mostly flat; hilly in southeast with the lowest point at the Indian Ocean, and the highest point at 1,230m in Keokradong.  Natural resources include natural gas, arable land, and timber. Natural hazards include droughts, cyclones; much of the country routinely flooded during the summer monsoon season.  Many people being forced to live on flood prone land with limited access to potable water.  Water borne diseases are prevalent. Water pollution is a big problem as a result of commercial pesticides. In addition there are intermittent water shortages, soil degradation, deforestation, and severe overpopulation.
Land use: 
arable land: 73% 
permanent crops: 2% 
permanent pastures: 5% forests and woodland: 15% 
other: 5% 
Irrigated land: 31,000 sq. km 
International Environment agreements: 
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands 
Signed, not ratified: Law of the Sea 

DEMOGRAPHICS:  There are about 127 mil people in Bangladesh
Age structure:                                     Birth/Death Rates
0-14: 38%(1.06 male(s)/female)
15-64: 59%(1.05 male(s)/female) 
65 + : 3%(1.2 male(s)/female) 
Population growth rate: 1.59%
Infants:69.68 deaths/1,000 births 
Birth rate: 25.2 births/1,000 pop 
Death rate: 8.5 deaths/1,000 pop
Net migration : -0.79/1,000 pop
Life expectancy at birth: 60.6 years (male: 60.73 years, female: 60.46 years)
Total fertility rate: 2.86 children born/woman (1999 est.) 
Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, Biharis 250,000, tribals less than 1 million 
Religions: Muslim 88.3%, Hindu 10.5%, other 1.2% 
Languages: Bangla (official), English 
38% of those age 15+ can read and write (male 49%, female 26%)

Government


 


Formerly called East Pakistan, the republic of Bangladesh celebrates its independence on December 16 for its 1971 celebration from Pakistan. There are 5 administrative divisions: Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, and one that is sometimes considered a division: Sylhet.  The national holiday, Independence Day, is 26 March (1971). although the constitution was formed on November 4, 1972, and effective 16 December 1972.  The constitution was  suspended following the coup of 24 March 1982, restored 10 November 1986, and amended many times. The legal system is based on English common law, and the age of sufrage is 18.
Executive branch: 
Chief of state: President Shahabuddin AHMED (October 9, 1996); Duties are ceremonial, but becomes significant at times when Parliament is dissolved and a caretaker government is installed at presidential direction to supervise the elections.
Head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA Wajed (June 23, 1996) 
Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president 
Elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 24 July 1996 (next to be held by October 2001). Following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats is usually appointed prime minister by the president 
Legislative branch: 
Unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad (330 seats; 300 elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies, 30 seats reserved for women; members serve five-year terms) 
Elections: last held 12 June 1996 (next to be held NA 2001) 
election results: percent of vote by party: AL 33.87%, BNP 30.87%; seats by party—AL 178, BNP 113, JP 33, JI 3,
The elections of 12 June 1996 brought to power an Awami League government for the first time in twenty-one years; held under a neutral, caretaker administration, the elections were characterized by a peaceful,
orderly process and massive voter turnout, ending a bitter 2 year impasse between the former BNP and opposition parties that had paralyzed National Parliament and led to widespread street violence
Judicial branch: 
Supreme Court, the Chief Justices and other judges are appointed by the president
Political parties and leaders: Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda ZIAur Rahman]; Awami League or AL
[Sheikh HASINA Wajed]; Jatiyo Party or JP [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD]; Jamaat-E-Islami or JI [Motiur Rahman
NIZAMI]; Bangladesh Communist Party or BCP [Saifuddin Ahmed MANIK] 
International participation: AsDB, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO,UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNOMIL, UNPREDEP, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO 
 
Diplomatic representation  US:
Ambassador Khwaja
Mohammad SHEHABUDDIN
2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-8372
consulates general: LA and NY 
Diplomatic representation from US: 
Ambassador John C. HOLZMAN 
Diplomatic Enclave, Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212 
mailing address: G.P.O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000 
telephone: [880] (2) 884700 
FAX: [880] (2) 883744 
The military has three branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary forces. Available military manpower (males ages 15-49) is 33 million, 19 million of which are fit for service. The military spent $559 million  in FY96/97, which was 1.8% of GDP. 
The 1998 government budget included $3.8 billion in revenues and $5.5 billion in expenditures, including capital expenditures.  Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

Communication Infrastructure

Telephones Radios Televisions
249,800 12 AM, 12 FM, 
2 shortwave
350,000
Poor domestic  service
2 Intelsat stations
radiotelephone communications and land line service to neighboring countries
 Bangladesh Betar (
Radio Bangladesh), one of the shortwave stations, transmits its programs to the world in 6 languages on 4 frequencies) 
11 broadcast stations

Transportation


 


 

Railways: 
total: 2,745 km 
broad gauge: 923 km 
narrow gauge: 1,822 km
Highways: 
total: 204,022 km 
paved: 25,095 km 
unpaved: 178,927 km 
8,046 km navigable Waterways: 
(3,058 km main cargo routes) 

Ports: Chittagong, Dhaka, Mongla
Merchant marine: 40 ships (1,000+ GRT) 
Ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 33, 
oil tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2
Pipelines: natural gas 1,220 km 

16 Airports: 
15 with paved runways: 
over 3,047 m: 1 
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 
914 to 1,523 m: 1 
under 914 m: 7
1 with unpaved runways: 
over 3,047 m: 1
Data on this page from CIA World Fact Book
Telecommunication
Infrastructure
Privatization and Deregulation
Hardware Manufacturing
E-Commerce 
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IT Usage
IT Geographics
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Government Policies
Legal Environment
Analysis :
ITStrengths & Weaknesses
Analysis:
Impacts on the Business
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Last update: 11/16/99 by Anjali Phukan