I remember reading a report in National Geographic magazine over a decade ago. The subject was Bangladesh and its problems, namely rapid population growth and the challenges of climate change.

Ever since I read the article, I always saw this country as a kind of early warning system for the general development of humanity. If this small country, overcrowded with people, threatened by sea rise from one side, by the rise of its wide rivers from the other, in addition to cyclones and general poverty, if this country can manage to escape the abyss, then so can everybody else.

And a decade later, one can say: things don’t look too bad.

Sure, the dangers have remained, and they are not getting any less. But still, the country seems to have found a way to deal with them and prosper. In recent years, for example, it has made the leap from being a low-development country (according to the UN) to a lower-middle-class country, and it seems quite possible that they will soon move into the “better” half of countries. Recently, the average income of a Bangladeshi has also become higher than that of an Indian (much to their dismay).

Moreover, the country has so far been able to benefit from the rise of the two Asian giants, China and India, as it is located in an important region for both countries and is much more reliable than the inherently unstable Pakistan and Myanmar.

There is a good chance that Bangladesh will be a new driving force in the economy of Southeast Asia.

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