With 160 million people, Bangladesh is the 7th most populous country in the world. It has the 4th largest Muslim population and is politically moderate. The country is undergoing rapid change with new opportunities for human and economic development. Bangladesh is an attractive production base with an increasing number of skilled workers, growing productivity and competitive salaries. It has robust economic growth averaging at over six percent over the last years, a growing middle class, liberal investment and trade regimes, and a strategic location between India, China and Southeast Asia.

Bangladesh is low-lying and at the same time dependent on water in rivers that originate in the Himalayas. This makes it extremely exposed to climate change, but Bangladesh has been a forerunner with regards to disaster prevention work. Bangladesh aims for middle-income status by 2021 and it is a measure of success that it is on track to achieve several of the Millennium Development Goals. Its increasingly active role on the global stage, present a range of opportunities for strengthened partnership between Norway and Bangladesh.