The economy of Bangladesh is the 31st largest economy in the world as measured by purchasing power parity (PPP). It has made significant strides in its economic sector since its independence in 1971. The Bangladeshi garments industry is one of the largest and most comprehensive industries in the world. Before 1980, Bangladesh’s economy and foreign exchange earnings were driven by the jute industry. However, this industry started to fall dramatically from 1970, when polypropylene products gained popularity over the jute products.
Current GDP per capita of Bangladesh registered a peak growth of 57% in the Seventies immediately after Independence. But this proved unsustainable and growth consequently scaled back to 29% in the Eighties and 24% in the Nineties.
Bangladesh has also made major strides to meet the food needs of its increasing population, through increased domestic production. Currently, Bangladesh is the fourth largest rice producing country in the world. The land is devoted mainly to rice and jute cultivation, although wheat production has increased in recent years the country is largely self-sufficient in rice production. The country has large reserves of natural gas and limited reserves of coal and oil. While Bangladesh’s industrial base is growing, unskilled labor is inexpensive and plentiful.