ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Role of Microenterprises in Bangladesh

Rethinking Migration

The challenge of regulating and streamlining the process of migration is being tackled by the use of internet-based registration of migrants and governmentto-government coordination in Bangladesh. The authors outline the approach and potential of a new programme in Bangladesh that is providing migrationrelated information services to migrants, improving their ability to make decisions about migration and thereby making them less vulnerable to the risks of international migration.

In recent times, Bangladesh attracted renewed attention when global economists revealed that its economy might overtake western countries by 2050 (The Guardian, Forbes and others). Bangladesh was placed under the “Next 11” and “Global Growth Generating” groups, indicating its emerging prominence as a developing country with untapped potential in the global market. It is known that the economy of Bangladesh has been rapidly integrating with the global economy as a result of increased trade liberalisation, pursued through various economic and trade policy reforms executed from the mid-1980s and throughout the 1990s. Today, Bangladesh’s emergence is directly attributed to the buoyant growth in remittances being sent by temporary migrant workers, which has not only financially empowered the poor migrant workers’ families at home, but at the same time enabled Bangladesh to maintain a stable economic growth rate of 5% to 6% alongside a robust balance of payments for quite some time now.

In addition, whilst the external sector, comprising exports, imports and inflows of foreign aid, foreign direct investment (FDI), and remittances, accounted for barely over 20% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the 1980s and 1990s, it almost tripled to 60% by 2012. The share of official development assistance (ODA) in GDP declined from 4% in 1991 to 2% in 2012. Trade in goods and services constituted less than 10% of GDP in the 1980s and 1990s but, today, it accounts for 30% of GDP. What is worth noting here is that ODA, which was significantly higher than remittance two to three decades ago, has been overtaken by the latter by nearly five times. This perpetuates the growing irrelevance of ODA while simultaneously eroding its capacity to generate better development outcomes.

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