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About Bangladesh
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6-13 February, 2005, Dhaka, Bangladesh


Geographical Location

Geographically Bangladesh lies between 20- 34' and 26- 38' N latitude and 88-01'and 92 41'E longitude. It has an area of 147,570 Sq. km and occupies a strategic position in South and South East Asia. It is bordered by India on three sides - West, North and East and a short strip of land of Myanmar also borders in the East while on the south lies the Bay of Bengal with its warm blue water. The Bay of Bengal is rich in marine life and nurtures the precious shrimps which are one of the country's major export items. The Bay of Bengal is a gateway to South Asia, and merchant shipping and world trade.

Bangladesh. is a deltaic plain of the three major river systems of South Asia - the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna. The land of the country is formed with the alluvial soil of these rivers. Green paddy fields and vegetation are found all around. There are some hills on the North Eastern and South Eastern parts of the country which are the extension of the Himalayan ranges in the South-East. The most significant characteristic of the landscape of Bangladesh is its extensive networks of rivers which contribute a great deal to shape the socioeconomic life of the country.

Bangladesh falls in the sub-tropical region of the globe. Of the three major seasons, winter is the shortest. Summer and Rainy seasons are longer. In Winter - November to February temperature varies from 28 to 20 degree celsius. In Summer - March to June-is the hottest period when temperature varies from 20 to 34 degrees celsius. The Rainy season-July to October- is the wettest period of the year, when most rainfall occurs and rivers are full, and temperature varies from 30 to 25 degree Celsius. Humidity varies from 99% (July) to 40% (December).


The Population of Bangladesh is over 111.4 million, growth rate now being 2.17%. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries (755 per sq. km.). 80% of the population lives in the rural areas. Of the total population 47% are in the civilian labour force, male 29.14% and female 17.86%.

Islam is the religion of the overwhelming majority (86.6%). Hindus are 12.6% and Buddhists 0.2%, Christians 0.4% and others 0.02%. All religious faiths are treated equally. All citizens enjoy complete freedom of religion and worship.

Bangla' is the national and official language. English is taught as a compulsory subject in schools, and it is also widely studied at the tertiary understood, especially in urban areas. Arabic is also taught and studied at schools and Madrasahs. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Bangladesh read the Holy Koran.

Bangladesh inherited a well-developed education and training system from the British, which has been further improved to meet the national requirement. 27 General Universities 2 Universities of Engineering and Technology, 2 Agricultural Universities, 1 Medical University, 18 Medical Colleges, 4 Engineering Colleges, 4 Bangladesh Institutes of Technology & 10 Agricultural Colleges are producing every year hundreds of science, arts, commerce, engineering & medical graduates. Besides, there are a large number of technical institutions for training thousands of personnel in the much needed trades and vocations.

Educational and Training Institutes:
1. General Universities 27
2. Engineering Universities 2
3. Medical University 1
4. Agricultural Universities 2
5. Medical Colleges 18
6. Engineering Colleges 4
7. Bangladesh Institute of Technology 4
8. Agricultural Colleges 10
9. Polytechnic Institutes 21
10. Colleges (General) 2845
11. Secondary Schools 12553
12. Primary Schools 78595
13. Technical Training Centers 13
14. Vocational Training Institutes 51
15. Nursing Colleges 20
16. Para-medical Institutes 30
17. Monotechnic Institutes 6
18. Islamic Institute of Technology 1
(Source: Bangladeshi Bureau of Statistics, Statistics Division, Ministry of Planning).

Dhaka is the capital. It is an old city established in early part of the sixteenth century during the Mughal rule and was the capital of the Sube Bangla. The Metropolitan area covers about 15 028.49 Sq km with a population of 10 million.

Major Cities
Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Barisal are the major cities.

The name of Bangladeshi currency is taka. It is convertible. At present one U.S. dollar is equivalent 58.40 taka. Currency notes of 500,100,50,20,10,5,2 & 1 taka denomination are available. Coins of 5,1, 0.50, 0.25, 0.10.,0.05 and 0.01 taka are also in circulation.

Zia International Airport (ZIA) at Dhaka, Osmani International Airport at Sylhet and Abdul Hannan International Airport at Chittagong, besides a network of 8 domestic airports.

Bangladesh Biman, the National Flag Carrier, connects Dhaka with many countries. Besides, various other airlines, such as Thai International, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Aeroflot, British Airways, Indian Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Saudi, Qatar Airways, Malaysian Airlines, Burma Airways Corporation, Kuwait Airways, The Gulf Airlines, Cosmic Air, and Jet Airways operate their flights from Dhaka and connect almost all the major destinations of the world. Airlines like Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, Japan Airlines & other GSAs also extend ticketing facilities from Dhaka.

Principal Crops
Rice, Wheat, Jute, Cotton, Tea, Tobacco, Sugarcane, Pulses Oil Seeds Spices, Potato, Green Vegetables, Banana, Mango, Coconut, Pineapple, Watermelon etc are major crops.

Principal Industries
Jute and Cotton Textiles, Garment, Tea, Sugar, Paper, Newsprint, Cement, Fertilizer, Oil Refinery, General Engineering and Shipbuilding Telephone Sets and Equipment, Electric Cables, Steel, Leather etc.
Principal Minerals
Natural Gas and Oil, Lime Stone, Ceramic Clay, Glass Sand, Coal, etc.

Principal Exports
Jute and jute goods ready made garments, Hides & Skin, frozen shrimp and fish, tea, vegetables, fruits and Handicrafts.

Standard Time

GMT + 6 Hours.


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