The current economic developments in Bangladesh, particularly in its apparel industry and regarding foreign reserves, reveal a mix of past growth and current challenges.
Continue reading “Bangladesh’s economy: Situational brief”
- Apparel Industry Growth: Over the past decade, Bangladesh’s apparel industry has seen significant growth. From 2011 to 2019, Ready-Made Garment (RMG) exports from Bangladesh more than doubled, increasing from $14.6 billion to $33.1 billion, marking a compound annual growth rate of 7%.
- 2023 Slowdown in Apparel Industry: However, 2023 presents a downturn for this key sector. A global slowdown is anticipated to heavily impact Bangladesh’s garment industry, with export growth expected to fall by approximately 3 percentage points. This reduction is attributed to a deceleration in global clothing demand, which is set to add pressure on Bangladesh’s GDP and its dwindling foreign exchange reservess.
- Wage Protests and Increases: The Bangladeshi government announced a 56% increase in the monthly minimum wage for garment workers, raising it to $113 from the previous $75. Despite this increase, workers have continued to protest, demanding further wage increases. These protests have sometimes turned violent, with instances of vandalism and clashes with police.
Taiwan’s upcoming January 2024 presidential election is a pivotal moment in its political landscape, marked by the candidacy of four main contenders: Vice President Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang Party (KMT), Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), and independent candidate Terry Gou. This election is closely watched by both Washington and Beijing, given its implications for cross-Strait tensions and Taiwan’s global relationships.
The election’s focus is on managing relations with China, a key foreign policy issue, alongside domestic concerns such as economic and environmental policies. Lai Ching-te emphasises increasing Taiwan’s autonomy and security through closer relations with the United States and other democracies. The DPP has been at the helm during a period of growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait. Conversely, Hou Yu-ih from the Kuomintang (KMT) party, campaigns on averting war with China, asserting that the KMT is better equipped to manage cross-strait tensions.
Continue reading “Taiwan’s Presidential Elections: Situational brief”
Bhutan’s unique position between China and India has significant implications for regional security. While historically isolated, Bhutan has begun opening up to foreign influence, carefully managing its diplomatic ties. Its relationship with India is crucial, with India providing economic support and Bhutan serving as a buffer state. Bhutan’s diplomatic approach aims to balance relations with its neighbors and engage in global initiatives aligned with its developmental goals and values.
Bhutan is preparing for its National Assembly elections, which are scheduled to take place on 30 November 2023 and 9 January 2024 . The political landscape has evolved since the 2018 elections when the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) won a majority of seats, and its leader, Lotay Tshering, became the Prime Ministe. The DNT has continued to strengthen its position, winning four by-elections during the 2018–2023 term.
Continue reading “Bhutan elections: Situational brief”
Bangladesh is approaching a critical period in its political landscape, with general elections scheduled for January 202. The political climate is described as tumultuous, with previous elections in 2014 and 2018 being marred by controversy. The opposition parties, in particular, are pressing for the resignation of the government led by Sheikh Hasina, who has been in power since 2009, to ensure a free and fair election.
The political unrest is not solely based on electoral politics but is also intertwined with an economic crisis that the country is currently facing. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is actively mobilizing the populace with a focus on the upcoming elections amid this challenging economic scenario.
Continue reading “Bangladesh elections: Situational brief”