Dhaka - Economy

Economy

See also: Economy of Bangladesh

Dhaka is the commercial heart of Bangladesh. The city has a growing middle class population, driving the market for modern consumer and luxury goods. The city has historically attracted a large number of migrant workers. Hawkers, peddlers, small shops, rickshaw transport, roadside vendors and stalls employ a large segment of the population — rickshaw-drivers alone number as many as 400,000. Half the workforce is employed in household and unorganised labour, while about 800,000 work in the textile industry. Even so, unemployment remains high at 19%. As of 2009, Dhaka's Gross Municipal Product (GMP) is registered at $85 billion. With an annual growth rate of 6.2%, the GMP is projected to rise to $215 billion by 2025. The annual per capita income of Dhaka is estimated at $1,350(USD), with 34% of households living below the poverty line, including a large segment of the population coming from rural areas in search of employment, with most surviving on less than $5 a day.

The main commercial areas of the city include Motijheel, Dilkusha, New Market, Shahbag, Gulshan, Mohakhali, Karwan Bazar and Farmgate, while Tejgaon and Hazaribagh are the major industrial areas. Bashundhara-Baridhara is a developing economic area that will include high-tech industries, corporations and a large shopping precinct in about 5 years. The Export Processing Zone in Dhaka was set up to encourage the export of garments, textiles and other goods. Dhaka has two EPZs. They are home to 413 industries, which employ mostly women. The Dhaka Stock Exchange is based in the city, as are most of the large multinationals including Citigroup, HSBC Bank Bangladesh, JPMorgan Chase, Standard Chartered Bank (Bangladesh), American Express, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Total, British Petroleum, Unilever, Nestlé, Perfetti Van Melle, DHL Express, FedEx and British American Tobacco. Large local conglomerates such as Concord Group, Rangs Group, Beximco, Pran-RFL Group, T.K. Group of Industries, Summit Group, Navana Group, Transcom Group, Akij Group, Bashundhara Group, Zaman Group of Industries and Rahimafrooz also have their corporate offices located in Dhaka. Microcredit also began here and the offices of the Nobel Prize winning Grameen Bank and BRAC are based in Dhaka. Urban developments have sparked a widespread construction boom; new high-rise buildings and skyscrapers have changed the city landscape. Growth has been especially strong in the finance, banking, manufacturing, telecommunications and services sectors, while tourism, hotels and restaurants continue as important elements in the economy of Dhaka.

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