The present study documents how Bangladesh is approaching the 2021 triennial review after a period of sustained economic growth, underpinned by robust progress in terms of productive capacity development, as measured through the UNCTAD multidimensional Productive Capacities Index (PCI). Economic growth during the last couple of decades has been pulled by the expansion of manufacturing and services, both in terms of composition of output and of labour share, while on the demand side consumption and gross capital formation have been the main drivers of growth. The process of capital deepening has been accompanied by rapid sectoral labour reallocation, away from agriculture and into manufacturing and services, as well as a significant rise in agricultural productivity, resulting in so-called “growth enhancing structural change”. Bangladesh has also witnessed a significant boom in its international trade, with merchandise exports growing fourfold between 2005 and 2019, and imports growing at a slightly greater pace; accordingly, the country has consistently maintained a net trade deficit with respect to both goods and services.

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