Bangladesh Development
Research Center (BDRC)
“Every human being has one mouth and two hands. If you enable the
hands to produce, then feeding the mouth is no problem.”
Bangladeshi proverb, quoted by A. Atiq Rahman   
in: Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism, p. 41   

    BDRC Research: Bangladesh's Development Strategies

    Abstract: While poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
    (MDGs) need to remain to be the center of Bangladesh’s development strategy, there are
    suggestions to broaden the agenda towards a more forward-looking development and employment
    strategy. For example, it has been suggested that information technology could be Bangladesh’s
    superhighway to prosperity. Others consider agribusiness (for the domestic and foreign sectors) of
    being able to provide the amount of employment needed for Bangladesh’s growing population. Still
    others concentrate on intensifying export promotion polices. This research project will evaluate the
    advantages and disadvantages of some alternative development strategies as well as make
    suggestions on the optimal mix of alternative development strategies.

    Related background: In 1983, the jute mills of the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) exported
    71,841 tons of jute carpets and earned Taka 1.89 billion, providing the life line for millions of Bangladeshis.
    Today, most of Bangladesh's jute carpet factories are closed down, partly due to the emergence of synthetic
    fiber (polypropylene). Yet, in view of the cotton price rise over the last few years, a few textile producers have
    been using jute yarn to produce denim. Bangladesh may emerge as a major denim producer in the world as --
    being a front ranking jute producing country -- it has an edge over others. Indeed, according to the Export
    Promotion Bureau (EPB), export of jute yarn grew 42 per cent to Taka 10.28 billion in 2004-05 fiscal and 12.5
    per cent to Taka 11.57 billion in 2005-06.
    Please see also the BDRC's task on:
    Jute-Bangladesh's Golden Fiber of the Past, also of the Future?

  • The first output related to this research project is a paper by Dr. Jahan, Dr. Gunter, and Dr. Rahman,
    who show how substituting wood with nonwood fibers in papermaking in Bangladesh implies a win-win
    solution for Bangladesh as it reduces the large import of pulp and paper as well as creates employment
    in the agricultural and industrial sectors of Bangladesh. For further details, please see the fourth paper
    in the BDRC's Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series (BDRWPS).
  • The second output related to this research project is a follow-up paper by Dr. Gunter, Dr. Jahan, and Dr.
    Rahman. The follow-up paper looks beyond the availability and suitability of jute for papermaking. It
    analyzes the economic viability of jute pulp, the main implications for Bangladesh’s economy as well as
    some developmental and environmental implications. The second paper was presented by Dr. Gunter at
    the Conference on “Ideas and Innovations for the Development of Bangladesh: The Next Decade”, held
    on October 9-10, 2009 at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Please
    click here for the summary presentation of the paper. The full paper is published in Munir Quddus and
    Farida Khan (eds.) Bangladesh Economy in the 21st Century: Selected Papers from the 2008-09
    Conferences at Harvard University (Dhaka: University Press Ltd., 2011), Chapter 4.
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