Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Information from the CIA World Factbook

Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.

Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Major impediments to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, inefficient state-owned enterprises, inadequate port facilities, a rapidly growing labor force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, delays in exploiting energy resources (natural gas), insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Reform is stalled in many instances by political infighting and corruption at all levels of government. Opposition from the bureaucracy, public sector unions, and other vested interest groups also have blocked progress. On an encouraging note, growth has been a steady 5-6% for the past several years.

Location:
Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India

Size:
slightly smaller than Iowa

Climate:
humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)

Population:
150,448,339

The population of
Bangladesh ranks seventh in the world, but its area of approximately 55,600 sq mi is ranked ninety-fourth, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world, or the most densely populated country if small island nations and city-states are not included.

Religions:
Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1%

Languages:
Bangla (official, also known as Bengali)

Government:
parliamentary democracy

17 comments:

Susan said...

Beware the monsoons! I will be looking forward to all of your updates and adventures! And of course, we will miss you terribly here.

irene said...

i'm soooo proud of you!!! What an amazing opportunity....how did you get selected??? We are going to miss you here. We want regular updates on this once in a lifetime experience.

Lori said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kyle said...

i hope you have a good time. I will miss you. Send me pictures (good ones!) please. And tell me about it. You stay safe; please send some Bangladesh money to.

tstover said...

i am happy for you and sad for me. i will miss the bejeebies outta ya! but not the colorful words you use. 8~) who's gonna be my personal help desk when my antique computer goes wacky? U no it is all about me! BE CAREFUL! STAY SAFE! DON'T CONVERT! (hee hee!) you'll B hearing from me and elaina,
luv, t--

Wendy Liu said...

Noreen!
It's fascinated to read your blog and hear about your experiences. I'm starting to appreciate it here more and more with each blog you write! Keep it coming...

Be safe and I'm with you on the teacher incident. I wouldn't of liked that either. Well you haven't been there long and already experienced a moonson! When you get back, you will have done a lot of living in the 2-3 months you were there.

Take care...and we miss you here.

Wendy

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