Bangladesh, a nation of nearly 170 million people is the world’s sixth largest country and the third largest Muslim majority country. Its shared borders with India and Myanmar and close proximity to China and the critical access that it provides to the Bay of Bengal places the country in a highly sensitive strategic location.
As Bangladesh continues to experience economic growth, it garners more scrutiny over its labour standards from the international community and major trading partners, including the United States. With that being said, Bangladesh continues to be a hub for economic activity as it is rich in minerals and energy potential. For example, it has opened up its shores to foreign exploration. It is an important site for the United State’s Asian pivot and the growing Chinese emphasis on Bangladesh.
The recent political impasse in Bangladesh and growing trends in militancy and terrorism raise serious concerns not only for its own stability but also the stability of the wider South Asian region. The situation becomes more complex as the NATO led international forces withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014.
This fact sheet sets out key facts on historical political, economic and environmental issues.