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Bangladesh - Introduction

Introduction to Bangladesh

On the beaten track: an old man on a journey

Hiding behind the evening-news images of cyclones and floods is a lush land with a rich history. Visit archaeological sites dating back over 2000 years; check out the longest beach and the largest littoral mangrove forest in the world, and see the decaying mansions of 19th-century maharajas.

Full country name: People's Republic of Bangladesh
Area: 143,998 sq km
Population: 138.44 million
People: 98% Bengali, 250,000 Bihari, tribals less than 1 million
Language: Bengali, English
Religion: 88.3% Islam, 10.5% Hindu, 1.2% other
Government: parliamentary democracy
Head of State: President Iajuddin Ahmed
Head of Government: Prime Minister Khaleda Zia
GDP: US$175.5 billion
GDP per capita: US$1,380
Annual Growth: 4%
Inflation: 7%
Major Industries: Jute manufacturing, cotton textiles, food processing, steel, fertilizer, rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, beef, milk, poultry
Major Trading Partners: Western Europe, US, Hong Kong, Japan, India, China, Singapore

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