To much of the outside world, Bangladesh remains synonymous with poverty. It is time to take a new look at this land of 160 million: this rapidly developing economy is one of the world’s next great growth markets for discretionary consumption.
Although the number of middle-class and affluent consumers in Bangladesh remains small compared with those of other big emerging markets in Asia, Bangladesh is one of the fastest-growing markets worldwide. We project that, each year for the next decade, the annual income of around 2 million additional Bangladeshis will reach $5,000 or more. That means that they will be earning enough to afford goods that offer convenience and luxury, such as air conditioners, imported shampoos, and cosmetics. And although half of Bangladeshis still live at the so-called bottom of the pyramid, economists estimate that another 30 million to 40 million will make the leap from poverty to the entry rungs of the middle class by 2025.
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