Ultra-wealthy people in Bangladesh increased faster than in any other country in the world between 2010 and 2019, according to the latest report of Wealth-X, a US-based research firm.
Bangladesh has been ranked first among the top 10 fastest growing wealth markets in the world during the period.
Wealthy people with $5 million plus in net worth increased by on an average 14.3 per cent per annum in the country, said the report titled ‘A Decade of Wealth’, released on Thursday. The class of people is categorised as very high net worth individuals.
The report, however, did not provide any figure to indicate the number of wealthy people in Bangladesh.
According to the report, Vietnam is in the second position with 13.9 per cent growth of wealthy population of the top 10 fastest growing wealth markets in the period followed by China, Kenya, Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, United States, Pakistan and Ireland.
In 2019, Bangladesh had been ranked third top country with a projected growth of 11.4 per cent ultra-rich people with $30 million net assets (ultra-high net worth) until 2023 from 2018.
Wealth-X also defines people with a net worth of $1 million and above as wealthy.
‘Bangladesh and Vietnam top the rankings with robust economic growths in both countries supported by a young and expanding workforce and deepening integration in regional manufacturing supply chains,’ the latest report said.
The strong growth in wealthy populations is also partly a reflection of having a ‘low base of comparison’ as the country has a comparatively small number of wealthy individuals back in 2010, it said.
South Asian Network on Economic Modeling executive director Selim Raihan told New Age that high growth of very rich people in the country was a matter of concern as it indicated that inequality between poor and rich was also widening in the country.
‘It also proves that richer people have also benefited the most from the economic growth the country has been achieving over the decade he said, adding that the growth widened inequality.
The existing level of inequality, he said, measured by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in Gini co-efficient shown at 0.483 at national level is also underestimated.
‘Currently, around 3.5 crore people live below poverty level according to official estimate while the number would be around 6 crore if other groups such as vulnerable groups are taken into account,’ he said.
The government should investigate to find out who are becoming rich and whether they made the money through illegal means, he said, adding that we need to find out whether there was any link between the recent financial scandals, including in the banking sector, and the people who became very wealthy in a short period time.
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