The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2013) ranked the quality of overall infrastructure of Bangladesh 134th out of 142 countries. Among the categories analysed by this survey, quality of electricity supply (ranked 133rd) and fixed telephone lines/100 populations (ranked 135th) are particularly deficient. The electricity shortages are not limited to the business sector, but are a significant problem across the nation. Only 47 per cent of the population has access to electricity. This can be explained by two reasons: (1) shortages of gas which is the main fuel of power generating plants and (2) large numbers of old and inefficient power plants which no longer operate at maximum efficiency or availability. According to the United States Investment Climate Statement (2013) in Bangladesh, the Government actively seeks foreign investment, particularly in energy by launching an initiative of Public Private Partnership and amending the government procurement procedures. Moreover, fixed phone penetration remains as low as 1.2 per cent in the country, amounting to two million in 2010. However, rapid growth in mobile-phone connections and low tariffs is expected to compensate for the low penetration rate of fixed lines. This is derived from the liberalization of the telecommunications sector during the last decade. The Government also revised the policy to legalize VoIP, but has not yet implemented it. With regards to transport, various modes of transport within Bangladesh lack integration, creating overdependence on road transport. This will remain one of the critical obstacles for Bangladesh, when pursuing trade within South Asia. Currently, rail transportation is under the control of state-owned enterprises while private companies compete freely in air and road transportation.

Source: WEF, 2013, Global Competitiveness Report
WTO, 2012, Trade Policy Review (Bangladesh)
World Bank, 2008, Service Trade Restriction Database (Bangladesh)
U.S. Department of State, 2013, Investment Climate Statement (Bangladesh)

Indicator Value Rank/148
Quality of overall infrastructure How would you assess general infrastructure (e.g., transport, telephony, and energy) in your country? [1 = extremely underdeveloped—among the worst in the world; 7 = extensive and efficient—among the best in the world] | 2012–13 weighted average. 2.77 119
Quality of roads How would you assess roads in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 2.80 109
Quality of railroad infrastructure How would you assess the railroad system in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 2.44 71
Quality of port infrastructure How would you assess port facilities in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = well-developed and efficient by international standards). For landlocked countries, this measures the ease of access to port facilities and inland waterways | 2010, 2011. 3.54 95
Quality of air transport infrastructure How would you assess passenger air transport infrastructure in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 3.22 117
Individuals using Internet (%) Internet users are people with access to the worldwide network. 62.82 120
Mobile telephone subscriptions/100 pop According to the World Bank, mobile cellular telephone subscriptions are subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service using cellular technology, which provides access to switched telephone technology. Postpaid and prepaid subscriptions are included. This can also include analogue and digital cellular systems but should not include non-cellular systems. Subscribers to fixed wireless, public mobile data services, or radio paging services are not included. 6.30 119
Fixed broadband Internet subscriptions/100 pop: The International Telecommunication Union considers broadband to be any dedicated connection to the Internet of 256 kilobits per second or faster, in both directions. Broadband subscribers refers to the sum of DSL, cable modem and other broadband (for example, fiber optic, fixed wireless, apartment LANs, satellite connections) subscribers. 0.39 110