154Published on October 14, 2021
Bangladesh's economy is projected to reach $516.24 billion in the fiscal 2024-25, outperforming advanced economies such as Denmark, Singapore and Hong Kong along the way, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Denmark is expected to have a GDP of $484.38 billion at the current dollar value in 2025, while Singapore and Hong Kong will see their economies reach $461.51 billion and $452.10 billion, respectively.
The forecast was revealed in the IMF's World Economic Outlook database on Tuesday.
Approaching a $500 billion+ economy, Bangladesh would also surpass Norway ($497.55 billion), the Philippines ($506.66 billion) and even the oil-rich United Arab Emirates ($480.03 billion) by 2025.
According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), Bangladesh's GDP was $355 billion in FY21, up from $323 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the IMF forecasted 6.54% real GDP growth for Bangladesh in the current fiscal year, which is expected to reach 7.2% in FY25.
Dr Zahid Hussain, former lead economist of the World Bank's Dhaka office, told The Business Standard, "These comparisons would only hold significance if we consider the overall economy as a market."
He said, "But if we want to know the real impact of this achievement and assess what would change in terms of employment generation, poverty, economic inclusion and so on, it has to be done on a per capita basis."
He further said, "Unless the effect of this growth trickles down to the larger portion of the population, it would not be inclusive.
"Industries inclined towards technology and capital-intensive production may benefit, but whether firms with larger labour forces will be included in this achievement is questionable."
With a current population of nearly 17 crore, Bangladesh's GDP per capita is projected to hit $2,994.46 in 2025, while Norway and Denmark will have a much higher GDP per capita, at $89,679.84 and $81,950.18, respectively.
Singapore and Hong Kong's GDP per capita will reach $79,169.49 and $59,126.85, respectively.
South Asian economies in 2025
South Asia's largest economy, India is projected to have a GDP of $4,084.69 billion in 2025.
Bangladesh has been the second-largest economy in the region since 2019 and it will continue to hold that position till 2025.
But in terms of GDP per capita, Bangladesh has already overtaken India in 2020 and will keep its position to reach $2,994.46 in FY25, while India's per capita GDP is slated to grow to $2,829.65.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's GDP is expected to reach $101.44 billion in 2025, followed by Nepal ($45.83 billion), and Maldives ($7.03 billion).
Bhutan, on the other hand, would remain at the bottom with a GDP of $3.62 billion.