From the Document: "Bangladesh (the former East Pakistan) gained its independence in 1971, following India's intervention in a rebellion against repression by the West Pakistani-dominated civil service and army. Democratic elections, in 1991, 1996, and 2001 followed two decades of authoritarian rule. The largely agricultural economy suffers frequent and serious setbacks from cyclones and floods. A small, but growing industrial sector is dominated by production of garments, which account for 70% of exports. Economic progress has been seriously impaired for the past decade by rivalry between the two largest political parties and their leaders. When in the opposition, both parties have sought to regain control through demonstrations, labor strikes, and transport blockades. U.S. policy toward Bangladesh emphasizes support for political stability and ongoing democratization efforts; economic reform and market-opening policies; social and economic development; and improvement of human rights. This report will be updated periodically."
CRS Report for Congress, RS20489
U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov/