The demand for healthy, high-quality food and beverages is rising in Bangladesh, thanks to a growing population and an increasing number of middle-income households. This is creating opportunities for Australian agricultural exports.
Bangladesh’s GDP increased from US$115.3 billion in 2010 to US$416.3 billion in 2021. This makes it one of the world’s fastest-growing economies over the past decade. The World Bank has classified Bangladesh as a lower middle-income country. This classification came on the back of average GDP per capita growth of 5.7% over the last 5 years.
GDP per capita in Bangladesh in 2021 was US$2,503. This is higher than India's GDP per capita of US$2,277 and is comparable to other Southeast Asian countries such as Laos (US$2,582). Bangladesh's has around 20 million consumers.
Citrus and table grapes
Demand for fresh fruit, including citrus and table grapes, has increased substantially since 2017. Imports fell in 2021, primarily due to reduced demand from the tourism sector and slower economic growth, which is reducing consumer spending power. Despite recent declines, demographic trends are expected to drive Bangladesh’s demand for imported fruit over the medium term.
- Bangladesh’s citrus imports increased by 160% between 2017 and 2020, before declining in 2021. South Africa, India, Egypt, and China supply most of Bangladesh’s citrus imports.
- Bangladesh is a small but important market for Australian citrus. Australia exported around $2.3 million in citrus fruits per year between 2019–20 and 2020–21 (ABS 2022).
- Bangladesh table grape imports were $127.1 million higher in 2021 than 2017.
- China is Bangladesh’s major table grape supplier. However, China’s market share has fallen from 90% in 2019 to 61% in 2021.
- Australian table grape exports to Bangladesh peaked at $7.4 million in 2019–20 but have fallen in subsequent years.