Doing Business in Bangladesh

Topics: Bangladesh, Bangladesh Liberation War, East Pakistan Pages: 5 (1132 words) Published: August 24, 2013
Doing Business in Bangladesh | Bangladeshi Business Culture
A Bangladeshi Overview Fact File
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Official name – People’s Republic of Bangladesh Population – 156,118,464* Official Languages – Bangla (also known as Bengali), English Currency – Taka Capital city – Dhaka GDP – purchasing power parity $259.3 billion* GDP Per Capita – purchasing power parity $1,700

Overview What is today known as Bangladesh was established when Bengal separated from India in 1947. It was then named East Pakistan, part of the newly formed nation of Pakistan. Dissatisfaction fueled by political exclusion and ethnic discrimination by the dominant West Pakistan, culminated in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, which the Bengalis won due to the assistance of India, and the subsequent establishment of Bangladesh. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative calm and economic progress. Bangladesh has a rich cultural heritage, which encompasses both old and new traditions, which aid in uniting Bangladeshis across both religious and ethnic divides. It is also the world’s most densely populated non-island nation. Though it is largely Muslim, the country has a sizable number of Hindus and other minorities. Bangladeshi Culture – Key Concepts and Values Identity - Bangladeshi culture assimilated over centuries and is an amalgamation of Hindu, Jainist, Buddhist and Islamic influences. Bangladeshi national identity is embedded in Bengali culture. Symbolically, Bangladeshi identity is centred on the 1971 struggle for independence from Pakistan. During that liberation struggle, the key elements of Bangladeshi identity focused on the importance of the Bengali mother tongue and the distinctiveness of a culture or way of life connected to the floodplains of the region. Community - Although progress has been made in terms of the advancement of women (the current Prime Minister is female), Bangladeshi society functions along patriarchal lines and major decisions are still made by males. The village or gram is a central concept to Bangladeshis, even those who now reside in cities. Bangladeshis bear a strong sense of community and family and kinship form the core of social relations. Social Etiquette - Hierarchy is important in Bangladeshi society and differences in age and status are observed through language conventions. Individuals with higher status are not addressed by personal name; instead, a title or kinship term is used. Placing the right hand over the heart after a handshake is an indication of respect. Men and women do not shake

Doing Business in Bangladesh

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hands with each other. In same-sex conversation, touching is common and individuals may stand or sit very close. The closer individuals are in terms of status, the closer their spatial interaction is. Doing Business in Bangladesh Bangladesh is attractive to foreign investors due to its stable political environment, good infrastructure and low labour costs. It is also strategically located as the gateway to South and East Asian regions. Jute, a natural fibre, is currently Bangladesh’s biggest export. It also produces rice, tea, sugar wheat, textiles, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, ceramic tableware and newsprint. Bangladesh is subject to annual monsoon floods and cyclones, which may negatively impact regular harvesting. Understanding this and other local and cultural implications is essential to successful business in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Business Part 1 – Working in Bangladesh (Pre-departure) o Working practices Bangladesh • • Formal behaviour is expected when conducting business in Bangladesh Address your Bangladeshi counterparts as “Sir” or “Madam” unless otherwise indicated Greetings usually take place between members of the same sex Only shake a woman’s hand if she offers it, otherwise it’s acceptable to nod In general, age dictates how people are addressed

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Structure and hierarchy in Bangladeshi...
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