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03 February 2019

Global studies and status of Bangladesh

M S Siddiqui

Global think tank and different UN bodies use to measure status on various issues of most of the
countries in global context with some research methodology. Some of these surveys are qualitative
and quantitative study. The corruption perception index and ease of doing business are widely
discussed among those studies.

There are many other surveys which may project the real scenario of Bangladesh and other
countries. The Global Human Development Index (HDI) 2017, of the Human Development Report
(HDR) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is a composite index measuring
average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development-a long and healthy life,
knowledge and a decent standard of living.

This Index has captured human progress, combining information on people's health, education and
income in just one number. Bangladesh had ranked 139th in HDI 2015 and improved further due to
the remarkable progress it had made in many socio-economic areas, including life expectancy and
per capita income and has moved three up to the 136th place among 189 countries in 2017.

The Doing Business 2019 is annual rating of World Bank. The Ease of Doing Business in
Bangladesh averaged 146.82 from 2008 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 178 in 2015 and a
record low of 115 in 2008. Bangladesh is ranked 176 among 190 economies. The rank of improved
to 176 in 2018 from 177 in 2017.

The Global Competitiveness Index, Bangladesh has been ranked 103rd out of 140 countries in
terms of doing business in 2018. In the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report
(GCR) 2018 revealed that, even after moving down a notch in the ranking, Bangladesh still remained
the most open in South Asia to foreign competition, according to the report.

In 2018, index of economic freedom for Bangladesh was 55.1 score. Though Bangladesh index of
economic freedom fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to increase through 1999 - 2018
period ending at 55.1 score in 2018 (100 represents the maximum freedom). Its overall score has
increased by 0.1 point, with improvements in the scores for judicial effectiveness and government
integrity outpacing declines in property rights, trade freedom, and labor freedom, said the Heritage

The report said Bangladesh's economy has grown by approximately six percent annually for two
decades despite prolonged political instability, poor infrastructure, endemic corruption, insufficient
power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Bangladesh is ranked 29th among
43 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and its rank is ahead of India (30th), Pakistan (31st), Nepal
(32nd) and Vietnam (35th).

Bangladesh press freedom index was at level of 47.2 score in 2018, down from 48.4 score previous
year, this is a change of 2.40 % (the lowest is perfect score).

In 2017, corruption perceptions rank for Bangladesh was 143 rank. Though Bangladesh corruption
perceptions rank fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to decrease through 2003 - 2017
period ending at 143 rank in 2017 (lowest="Very Clean"). The index, which ranks 180 countries and
territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and
businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

Bangladesh has ranked 143rd among the 180 countries in the Berlin-based Transparency
International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2017. Bangladesh was earlier placed at the
bottom of the list for five successive years from 2001-2005. In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, it
was ranked 3, 7, 10, 13, and 12 respectively while in 2011 and 2012, Bangladesh was 13th, 16th in
2013, 14th in 2014, 13th in 2015.

The Political Rights ratings from the Freedom House evaluate three categories: electoral process,
political pluralism and participation, and the functioning of government. The index ranges from 1
(strong rights) to 7 (weak rights). Bangladesh political rights index was at level of 4 score in 2018,
unchanged from the previous year (1 - the highest degree of freedom).

Over the last 20 years, Bangladesh civil liberties index remained stable at around 4 score (1 - the
highest). Bangladesh's score on the latest Democracy Index fell to its lowest in a decade in line with
a global decline in pluralism and civil liberties, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Less
than 5 percent of the world's population lives in a "full democracy," according to the EIU report that
ranked countries by how functional their political systems are.

In 2012, knowledge economy index for Bangladesh was 1.49 index. Between 1995 and 2012,
knowledge economy index was declining at a moderating rate to shrink from 2.47 index in 1995 to
1.49 index in 2012 (0 = lowest & 10 = highest).

The World Bank's Knowledge Assessment Methodology (KAM) is an online interactive tool that
produces the Knowledge Economy Index (KEI)-an aggregate index representing a country's or
region's overall preparedness to compete in the Knowledge Economy (KE). The KEI is based on a
simple average of four sub-indexes, which represent the four pillars of the knowledge economy: (
Economic Incentive and Institutional Regime (EIR) ( Innovation and Technological Adoption (
Education and Training ( Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Infrastructure.

The Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute is a Washington, DC-based policy

development organization. Their global entrepreneurship index 2018 shows score of Bangladesh
was 11.84. Though Bangladesh global entrepreneurship index fluctuated substantially in recent
years, it tended to decrease through 2015 - 2018 period ending at 11.84 index in 2018 (Highest =
Best). The index measures the quality of entrepreneurship and the extent and depth of the
supporting environment in countries.

The young entrepreneurs get tired when they go through the haphazard legal procedures and
bureaucratic complications while starting their business. The government officials provide
inappropriate information and a lot of them get involved with corruption. Another major problem that
the entrepreneur needs to face is related to the poor implementation of laws. In addition, our legal
system is not much helpful towards SMEs in comparison to the larger corporations.
In 2018, global gender gap index for Bangladesh was 0.72. This index of Bangladesh increased from
0.65 index in 2009 to 0.72 index in 2018 growing at an average annual rate of 1.13 % (1=No
inequality, 0=Maximum inequality). For the fourth time in a row, Bangladesh held the top position
among South Asian countries in ensuring gender equality.

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger
globally, regionally, and by country (0 = No hunger). Bangladesh has ranked 86 out of 119 countries
on GHI 2018, studied by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Bangladesh had a "serious" hunger problem, according to the report. Bangladesh is now becoming
'food surplus' and exporting food. According to the report, Bangladesh is ahead of India and
Pakistan as these two neighboring countries having ranks of 103rd and 106th in the GHI. In 2017
GHI, Bangladesh was ranked 86th while the positions of India and Pakistan were 100 and 106.

In 2017, global peace index for Bangladesh was 2.04. Though Bangladesh global peace index
fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to decrease through 2014 - 2017 period ending at
2.04 index in 2017. (Lowest = Best).

In 2017, global terrorism index for Bangladesh was 6. Global terrorism index of Bangladesh
increased from 5.25 in 2014 to 6.18 in 2017 growing at an average annual rate of 5.87 %. (Score : 0
- no impact of terrorism, 10 - highest impact of terrorism).

In 2017, global peace index for Bangladesh was 2.04. Though Bangladesh global peace index
fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to decrease through 2014 - 2017 period ending at
2.04 index in 2017. (Lowest = Best). This index is prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace
(IEP), a Sydney-based independent non-profit think tank.

Bangladesh has improved four notches to the 25th place among 163 countries with a score of 5.697
in the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2018 of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).Last year,
the country scored 6.181 and ranked 21st, according to IEP, a global think-tank headquartered in
Sydney, Australia.

In 2017, social progress index for Bangladesh was 52.56. In between 2014 and 2017, the social
progress index of Bangladesh grew substantially from 49.37 to 52.56, rising at an increasing annual
rate that reached a maximum of 3.91 % in 2017. (highest = best). It synthesizes a huge body of
research to identify the dimensions of social and environmental performance of societies.

Bangladesh has many other success stories. It's The success in achieving the targets of MDGs is
acclaimed globally when our Hon'ble PM was awarded with 'UN MDG Awards 2010' and South-
South Award 'Digital Health for Digital Development' in 2011 for her innovative idea to use the
Information and Communication Technology to accelerate progress of the health of women and

In addition, in June 2013, Bangladesh received the 'Diploma Award' from Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) for achieving the MDG-1 target of halving the poverty well ahead of the deadline
set by the world community. Besides this, Bangladesh was honored with the 'special recognition' for
outstanding progress in fighting hunger and poverty. In September 2013, Hon'ble PM was awarded
with 'South South Award' for her Government's achievements in alleviating poverty.

She was awarded 'UNESCO Peace Tree Award' in 2014 for her commitment to women's
empowerment and girls' education. In 2015, Bangladesh was awarded the prestigious Women in
Parliaments Global Forum Award, known as WIP award, for its outstanding success in closing
gender gap in the political sphere.
Bangladesh ranks 10th out of 142 countries. In 2016, the UN-Women recognized our Hon'ble PM as
"Planet 50-50 Champion" while the Global Partnership Forum handed over her the "Agent of Change
Award" for her outstanding contributions to women empowerment.

Bangladesh will go ahead with SDG and will be a $700 billion economy in 2030 from $300 billion
now, according to the report of HSBC. Now Bangladesh can focus on other issues and democracy
and development should go hand in hand supported by rule of law, transparent and corruption free
administration. The economy also should lead by private sector with all out support from
government. The best support from government is less supervision and less controlled economic

The writer is a legal economist.

Email: mssiddiqui2035@gmail.com