Still a way to go for a middle-income Bangladesh

Bangladeshi people walk on a street early morning in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, 1 October, 2015. The World Bank has recently reassessed Bangladesh as a middle-income country. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Fahmida Khatun, CPD

Bangladesh’s recent graduation to the World Bank’s lower-middle-income category from a low-income category was only a matter of time. The country experienced steady growth in the 2000s and boosted its per capita income. Its from a mere 2.8 per cent in the 1970s to 6 per cent in the 2010s, and per capita income increased from only US$90 in 1973 to US$1314 in 2015. Read more…

The international politics of Bangladeshi ‘boat people’

Migrants sit on their boat as they wait to be rescued by Acehnese fishermen on the sea off East Aceh, Indonesia, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Mubashar Hasan, BISRT & Griffith University

The issue of Bangladeshi ‘boat people’ has recently come to light following a series of high-profile crackdowns on human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Read more…

Islamist militancy on the rise in Bangladesh

Bangladeshi activists campaigning for capital punishment, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, April 11, 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Iftekharul Bashar, RSIS

Islamist militant groups in Bangladesh are showing signs of revival. According to Bangladeshi authorities, militants from at least two banned outfits — Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) — are preparing for attacks in the country, including targeted assassinations involving individuals whom they consider apostates or obstacles to establishing an Islamic State in Bangladesh. Read more…

India reaches out to Bangladesh

Author: Mahendra Ved, New Delhi

For a quarter of a century, India has looked east, and for a year ‘acted east’. The latter policy is proving to be more than just rhetoric. Bangladesh, previously a major gap in India’s ‘look east’ quest, has been substantially bridged to the mutual benefit of not just the two neighbours but, hopefully, the entire region. Read more…

Bangladesh’s democracy sinks deeper into the mire

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a press conference after the national election in Dhaka on 6 January, 2014. Hasina insisted her walkover win in an election boycotted by the opposition was legitimate and blamed her rivals for the unprecedented bloodshed on polling day. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Syeda Naushin Parnini, University of Malaya

Democracy in Bangladesh is broken.

The country recently witnessed political deadlock causing violence and crippling unrest. Read more…

Fresh perspectives needed to boost South Asian connectivity

Indian students travel in a crowded bus during the morning rush hour in Bangalore, India. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ram Upendra Das and Nitya Batra, RIS

One of the easiest ways to boost economic activity is by promoting regional economic integration that facilitates freer movement of goods, services and investment, helping to achieve regional developmental objectives by creating jobs. But in eastern South Asia, this process is being held up by misguided decisions, strategies and outdated ideas. Read more…

Bangladesh’s politicians should keep their hands off Grameen Bank

A 29-year-old Bangladeshi woman known as Tattahakallayani or Info Lady shows a 15-minute video played in a laptop at one of their usual weekly meetings at Saghata, a remote impoverished farming village in Gaibandha district, 120 miles (192 kilometers) north of capital Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dozens of “Info Ladies” bike into remote Bangladeshi villages with laptops and Internet connections, helping tens of thousands of people - especially women - get everything from government services to chats with distant loved ones. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Niaz Asadullah, University of Malaya, and Zaki Wahhaj, University of Kent

Increasing state control over Grameen Bank will not serve Bangladesh’s best interests. And it will be detrimental to the nation’s progress on gender equality.

Bangladesh has improved its rank in this year’s Global Gender Gap report, moving from 75 in 2013 to 68 in 2014. Read more…