Bangladesh became an independent nation in 1971. Its GDP growth rate was -14% at that time with extreme poverty and political instability. The UN classed it as one of the least developed countries (LDC). Things have turned around. Bangladesh now has an average GDP growth of 8% which is ahead of other Asian countries, including China and India. It is likely to shed its LDC description by 2024 on the current trajectory.
Goldman Sachs included Bangladesh in the Next Eleven (N-11), which are 11 countries with the potential of becoming one of the largest economies in the 21st century. The global consultancy firm, PwC’s report ‘The World in 2050’ forecasts Bangladesh to be the 28th biggest economy in the world by 2030 and the 23rd largest economy by 2050.
Much of the growth in the coming years is expected to be foreign-investment-led. This is where Exons can add value with its expert knowledge of Bangladesh’s business and legal landscape and Bengali language skills. Bangladesh offers the most liberal investment climate in South Asia (HSBC Global Connections). Historically, it has been recognised as a well-established and reputable jurisdiction in which to conduct business. Bangladesh owns a trainable, enthusiastic, hard-working and low-cost (even by regional standards) labour force.
Bangladesh is a key player in the ready-made garment industry. After China, it is the second biggest exporter of ready-made garments in the world. The garment trade is a $30-billion industry which is projected to increase in the coming years. Many household clothes retailers in the West import exclusively from Bangladeshi manufacturers. Our lawyers are able to advise on transactions and disputes in the garment sector.
Remittance from expatriate Bangladeshis results in a substantial inflow of funds. More than 10 million Non-resident Bangladeshis (“NRBs”) remit over $15 billion annually to Bangladesh. Given the recent phenomenal growth in Bangladesh’s economy, there has been a notable increase in NRBs going back to Bangladesh to take advantage of the new opportunities. We have the expertise to help NRBs set up businesses in Bangladesh and deal with any disputes that might arise.
Onshore and offshore energy reserves could provide a chance for future prosperity in Bangladesh. Experts believe that Bangladesh’s maritime exclusive economic zone has one of the largest hydrocarbon reserves in the Asia-Pacific region. However, this has not been fully exploited to date. The key players in the energy sector are state-owned entities, PetroBangla and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation as well as international oil companies such as Chevron, Gazprom, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, and ONGC and so on.
We have significant experience of international arbitration matters between international oil companies and state owned entities. Exons’ lawyer, Khaled Moyeed represented the Yemeni Ministry of Oil and Minerals and the Yemeni government in arbitration proceedings at the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
Exons’ Bangladesh desk
Khaled Moyeed heads our Bangladesh desk. He was born in Bangladesh, speaks Bengali fluently and retains a significant network of contacts with the legal and business community in Bangladesh. He is a qualified barrister and a solicitor in England and Wales. He has a vast experience of international matters gained at two global law firms.