Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate. There are basically four seasons in a year- Winter (December to February), Summer (March to May), Monsoon (June to September) and Autumn (October to November). The average temperature across the country usually ranges between 9ºC and 29ºC in winter months and between 21ºC and 34ºC during summer months. Annual rainfall varies from 160 cm to 200 cm in the west, 200 cm to 400 cm in the south-east and 250 cm to 400 cm in the north east.
Bangladesh has an agrarian economy with 22.83% of GDP coming from the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector. Major agricultural products are rice, jute, wheat, potato, pulses, tobacco, tea, sugarcane etc. The country is the largest exporter of jute and jute goods in the world. Readymade Garments occupy the topmost position among the exportable items. Tea, frozen shrimps, fish, leather goods, flowers and vegetables, ceramic ware and handicrafts are also major exportable commodities.
Environment and Forest
The government is determined to product the environment for the wellbeing and survival of the current and future generations. Much importance has been attached to increasing the forestry resources and ensuring their proper management or environment conservation and development.
With a growth rate of 4.9%, the contribution of forest resources to GDP and the agriculture sector are 1.86% and 9.73% respectively. A forestation generates employment and helps maintain environmental balance. The total forest area of the country is 2.5 million Hectare, which is 17% of the total land area of Bangladesh. Out of the total forest lands, trees exist in only 45% area. A national policy has been adopted for conservation of forests and environment. Apart from a forestation, programmes include planting trees on fallow lands, alongside roads and rail lines, on flood protection embankments and coastal belt and in educational institutions.
In recent years, the government has taken some important steps towards protection of the environment, environmentally sound use of natural resources and pollution control.
The transport sector of Bangladesh consists of variety of modes. The country being a flat plain, all three modes of surface transport, i.e. road, railway and water are widely used in carrying both passengers and cargo.
More than half of Bangladesh has access to an all weather hard surface road within 3 miles distance. In 2003, the total length of road under the Roads and Highways Department stood at around 22,360 kilometers. It is estimated that mechanized road transport carry about 70% of the country’s total passenger and cargo volume. Its contribution of GDP is 6.95%.
In recent years, construction of a number of important bridges including the Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge, and the Bangladesh UK Friendship Bridge over the river Meghna on Dhaka-Sylhet Highway have been completed.
About 32% of the total area of Bangladesh is effectively covered by the railways. State owned Bangladesh Railway operates a track of 2880 kilometre and provides passenger and cargo services through 500 stations.
Water transport is the only means available in nearly 10% of the total area of Bangladesh. The navigable waterways vary between 8272 kilometre during the monsoon to 5200 kilometre during the dry season.
The entire coast along the Bay of Bengal is 710 kilometre long. There are two major ports in the country. Chittagong, the oldest port, has been an entry port for at least 1000 years. The Mongla port in Khulna region serves the western part of Bangladesh.
There are now 14 operational airports (3 International, 6 Domestic and 5 Stall Airports) in Bangladesh. Of these, the airports at Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet serve international routes.
The Civil Aviation Authority is a public sector entity entrusted to construct, maintain and supervise airports and regulate air traffic. The national flag carrier Biman files to international and domestic destinations.
Commercial Exports and Imports
In 1972-73, the export earnings of the country totaled US $ 348.33 (Aprox.) million, of which 90% came from the Jute sector. The other major items were tea and leather. Since then, the country has been widening its export base. The situation has now vastly improved with the addition of non-traditional items like readymade garments, shrimps, fish, knitwear, finished leather, newsprint, chemical fertilizer, handicrafts, naptha, ceramic products, fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables, etc. As a result, the export earnings are currently estimated to be around US $ 6.55 billion (2002-03)
The major import items include raw cotton, textile fabrics and accessories, cotton yarn, petroleum products, capital machinery, automobiles including spares and accessories, industrial chemicals and dyes, pharmaceutical raw materials, milk food, edible oil, coal, ferrous and non ferrous metals, cement etc.
Bangladesh is endowed with enchanting scenic beauty, mighty rivers, sunny beaches, historical relies and colorful tribal life. Facilities of modern Hotels (5 Star, 4 Star and 3 Star and others), Motels, Rest houses, Youth Inns and Restaurants as well as modern modes of communication are available at all places of tourist attraction. Some of the better known spots are- Dhaka is the city of mosque, Chittagong is Gateway to the Bay of Bengal, Cox’s Bazar is the Tourist Capital, Rangamati is the heart of the lake district, Kaptai is the lake town, Sylhet land of two leaves and a bud, Tea capital of Bangladesh, Sundarban is home of the Royal Bengal Tiger, Bandarban is the hilly resort, Kuakata where the sun rises, sets in the sea and Daughter of Bay of Bengal, Mainamati is seat of lost dynasties, Mahasthangarh is the ancient seat of Buddhist rule, Rajshahi is the silk producing centre, Natore is place of Dighapatiya Palace, Paharpur is the seat of Buddhist learning, Dinajpur is old ornamental temple town, and Mymensing is the heart of Bengal’s folklore.