Bangladesh’s economy to overtake Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore in 2024

Bangladesh’s economy to overtake Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore in 2024

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Bangladesh is set to become the world’s 26th largest economy within the next decade, says a report published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

In a surprising note, the report predicts that in 2024, Bangladesh will rank as the 30th largest economy in the world, overtaking Malaysia’s rank of 32nd that year. Bangladesh’s economy ranked 40th largest in 2020, while Malaysia ranked 34th.

In 2024, Bangladesh’s economy will overtake heavyweights such as Hong Kong (37th), Singapore (38th), Denmark (40th) and Norway (36th). Hong Kong’s economy is currently ranked 35th, Singapore 37th, Denmark 39th and Norway 30th.

Meanwhile, India is predicted to become the 3rd largest economy in 2034, behind China – which will dominate the global economy, and the USA – which will slip to second position.

The London based think tank published The World Economic League Table 2020 on December 26 last year, ranking the world’s largest economies.

Bangladesh has moved up one notch from its position last year, and has been persistently maintaining its rank as the 2nd largest economy in South Asia, just one-step behind neighbouring India. In 2034, Bangladesh is predicted to have the 25th largest economy in the world.

Fueled by a consistent economic growth over the last five years, Bangladesh has leapt from having the 57th largest economy in 2014 to 41st in 2019. The country’s average economic growth has been 7.39 percent in the last five fiscal years. Bangladesh even hit a record growth of 8.15 percent in the last fiscal year.

Three rapidly growing Asian economies – Philippines, Bangladesh and Malaysia – have been listed as the fastest risers in the table amongst the larger economies.

The Philippines rose from 38th place in 2019 to 36th place in 2020, and Malaysia from 35th to 34th during that same period.

In 2029, India is predicted to remain the largest economy in South Asia followed by Bangladesh and Pakistan. Whereas, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan will remain at the bottom of the table.

With a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) adjusted GDP per capita of $5,028 in 2019, Bangladesh is a lower middle-income country. The economy of the country performed well in 2019, expanding by an impressive 7.8 percent. This, however, is below the 7.9 percent GDP growth recorded in 2018, said the report.

The population has risen at a rate of just 1 percent per year since 2014. This means that per capita incomes have grown considerably in recent years. Government debt as a share of GDP rose to 34.6 percent in 2019. This is up from 34 percent in 2018.

Despite this increase, the public sector finances remain in good shape. The relatively low debt burden has provided the government with the fiscal headroom to operate a budget deficit of 4.8 percent in 2019.

Speaking to The Business Standard, Dr Sayema Haque Bidisha, associate professor of Dhaka University’s economics department, said, “Every country goes through a phase where its GDP peaks. Bangladesh is currently going through this phase.”

Dr Bidisha also serves as a research fellow in the South Asian Network on Economic Modelling.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research has been delivering independent economic forecasting and analysis for decades. The centre also publishes the World Economic League Table, which tracks the size of different economies across the globe and projects changes over the next 15 years, up to 2034.

In September 2018, the HSBC – in a report on 75 countries titled “The World in 2030” – also projected that Bangladesh will be the 26th largest economy in the world by 2030.

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