Bangladesh. When textile quotas in world trade were deregulated at the turn of the year, Bangladesh was assumed to be one of the countries that would be severely affected by competition from mainly the Chinese textile industry. In January, exports declined dramatically, but the industry recovered quickly, noting a strong upturn for the rest of the year. According to countryaah, Dhaka is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Bangladesh. Exports increased by more than 20% in most parts of the textile industry. However, the sharp rise in the price of oil meant such an effort for the economy that a five-day week was introduced for public employees to reduce fuel consumption through fewer work trips. In return, the working days were extended. Continued labor market turmoil, with a series of major political strikes, troubled aid and creditors and prompted the UN development agency UNDP to urge politicians to try to resolve disputes through debate rather than with strikes.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym BD stands for the country of Bangladesh and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
Political violence hit both the government side and the opposition, which got high-ranking representatives killed in the blast attacks. In August, two people were killed and more than 100 injured when over 400 minor explosive charges were detonated around the country in the space of an hour. The Islamic extremist movement Jamaat-ul-Mujahidin, which was banned earlier in the year, is suspected to have carried out the attacks. The same group was designated for multiple murders of leading lawyers. The violence escalated during the late autumn, when the country, among other things. suffered their first suicide attacks. The government said that Bangladesh was in a national crisis and started a dialogue with the opposition and the business community about how to handle the threat of extremists.
In December, a tsunami hit South Asia. In Bangladesh, the earthquake immediately cost 2 killed. However, the damage caused by the tidal wave was more limited. The coastal areas are to some extent protected by dikes, and people live farther from the coast than in other countries around the Indian Ocean.
In 2005, Transparency International and Journalists Without Borders (RSF) published reports placing Bangladesh together with Haiti as the world’s two most corrupt countries. The RSF also pointed out that for the third year in a row, Bangladesh was the country in the world where most journalists receive death threats.
In April 2006, the opposition sometimes launched violent demonstrations against the electoral system. The consequence was that the planned elections in January 2007 were suspended and President Ahmed declared the country in a state of emergency and put himself at the head of a temporary government. Ahmed declared that elections will be held before the end of 2008.
In April 2007, former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, along with a number of other political leaders, were charged with corruption. In June, Hasina was arrested and charged with corruption. The Supreme Court demanded her be released in several subsequent orders because she could not be prosecuted under the exemption legislation, but only in June 2008 was she released for health reasons and flown to the United States to avoid various treatments.
The ties between China and Bangladesh have traditionally been close, and both trade and military cooperation are getting closer. From 2006 to 2007 alone, trade between the two countries grew by 28.5% and agreements were made to allow a number of Bangladeshi product groups duty-free access to the Chinese market.
The December 2008 parliamentary election was a landslide victory for the Awami League, which more than doubled and ended up gaining 49% of the vote. The party therefore ended up controlling 230 out of Parliament’s 300 seats. GDP, on the other hand, was halved. Awami League spokeswoman Sheikh Hasina returned to Bangladesh in November and was elected prime minister after the election victory in January 2009. BNP objected to the election results and claimed there had been scams, but independent observers pointed out that the election had been held without major irregularities.
With the conduct of the parliamentary elections and Hasina’s appointment as prime minister, the military state of emergency was abolished and the country was again a democracy.
In February 2009, Mohammad Zillur Rahman was appointed President. Rahman was from the ruling Awami league, and no other candidates had wanted to line up after the league’s landslide victory in December.