Summary: Bangladesh seeks to attain middle-income status by 2021, the 50th anniversary of its independence. To accelerate growth enough to do so, it will need to undergo a structural transformation that will change the geography of economic production and urbanization. Critical to its transformation will be the creation of a globally competitive urban space, defined here as a space that has the capacity to innovate, is well connected internally and to external markets, and is livable (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD 2006; World Bank 2010). This study identifies what is unique about Bangladeshs process of urbanization and examines the implications for economic growth. Through the lens of Bangladeshs most successful industry, the garment sector, it describes the drivers of and constraints to urban competitiveness. Based on the findings, it provides policy directions to strengthen the competitiveness of Bangladeshs urban space in ways that will allow Bangladesh to reach middle-income status by 2021.
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