Industrial Diversification in Bangladesh: Opportunities and Challenges

August 11 - 12, 2014



Like many other developing countries, Bangladesh has been able to leverage its low-cost labor to fire its economic growth and attract domestic and foreign investment. This has provided short- and medium-term growth, making Bangladesh second only to China in global export in the ready-made garment market.

Despite its strong position in certain manufacturing sectors, Bangladesh faces a variety of economic challenges. What new industries must expand in order to diversify the economy? How can the country position attract more foreign direct investment?

To address these issues, the Milken Institute, in partnership with the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, convened a two-day Financial Innovations Lab™, "Industrial Diversification in Bangladesh: Opportunities and Challenges." The Lab brought together government leaders, investors, finance experts and economic development thought leaders to analyze best practices that apply to the country and to provide leaders in Bangladesh with specific recommendations. Based on lessons learned from countries like Singapore that moved from a labor-intensive economy to one focused more on capital and high-skill industries, the discussion led to the beginning of a framework taking the Bangladeshi economy forward.

As next steps, the Milken Institute will prepare a report outlining an implementation plan that can be used by the public and private sectors in Bangladesh. 

For more information, contact Caitlin MacLean, associate director of Financial Innovations Labs, at