Bangladesh has long been considered a country approaching middle-income status. Economically, it has been slowly improving poverty levels throughout the nation. However, one major issue stands in the way of further progress: infrastructure in Bangladesh.

Obstacles to Improving Infrastructure in Bangladesh

Under the Sixth Five Year Plan, which was in operation between 2010 and 2015, the government hoped to achieve eight percent GDP growth by the end of the plan.  However, the poor infrastructure development was a major obstacle. Infrastructure includes physical and organizational structures, like access to efficient water sanitation and transportation systems, both which greatly contribute to reducing poverty and improving the economy.

At a five-day meeting on infrastructure, hosted by Bangladesh in 2008, officials said it would take $20 billion in investments to develop a high-quality infrastructure system in the country. Most of this money would come from organizations like the Asian Development Bank.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has other projects set up in Bangladesh, such as the Urban Governance and Infrastructure Improvement Project, which takes a community-driven approach to improving infrastructure. Though these organizations contribute to the growth of infrastructure in Bangladesh, it is ultimately up to the government to implement concrete goals and achieve tangible results. The funds committed are vital to the success of such projects, however, there must also be an organized and transparent method of spending these funds.

Current Infrastructure Improvements

Recently, the government of Bangladesh took steps towards improving the infrastructure of its own country.

In March 2017, $2 billion of Bangladesh’s foreign reserves were poured into an infrastructure fund. Further, a legal framework was drafted in order to make this monetary contribution an annual occurrence. While this is a positive improvement, it is not nearly enough to create a completely effective infrastructure system.

In order to successfully improve infrastructure in Bangladesh, there must be an increased commitment from the government, in addition to foreign investments. This will ensure that large-scale projects will be funded continuously and in a transparent manner. These changes will result in further improvements in the future and help the development of Bangladesh. 

– Liyanga de Silva

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