Govt targets to boost jute-goods export
Al Amin: The government is planning to set up projects including a green jute factory at Demra area in the capital to manufacture and export sustainable, perishable and environmental friendly jute products.
Shrinking global demand and imposition of anti-dumping duty by India have threatened Bangladesh’s jute and jute goods exports. Conflicts in the Middle Eastern countries, particularly in Syria, Egypt, and Iraq, have almost halted the jute import there. Developed countries do not import that much jute products either. Now the export market has been squeezed to just India, Turkey, China and countries in the African continent. Inefficiency of the millers, be it productivity, management or diversification of products, has added further woes to the exports of jute goods.
That’s why, the government has decided to set up jute factories to produce multi-coloured pieces of smooth jute cloth to earn foreign currency through exports.
It will also help the government to achieve poverty reduction target, sustainable development goals and government’s development vision 2021.
Planning Commission Member Zuyena Aziz said, if the project is implemented, small and medium entrepreneurs working in the jute sector will also be benefitted and this sector will be expanded.
According to project proposal, the project will be implemented by Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) under the Textile and Jute Ministry by June 2020. The project title is ‘Deployment of multi-purpose bamboo production factory, Demra, Dhaka’ worth is Tk 183 crore, sources said.
They said under the proposed project, it will be possible to produce jute bags and other versatile products of different sizes and designs in a year, with smooth fabrics of 1,890 tonnes and 1, 850 tonnes of jute smooth fabrics.
Major buyers of Bangladesh jute and jute products include Belgium, Canada, USA, UK, China, Italy, Germany, India, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Pakistan, Brazil, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Thailand, Turkey, South Africa and Romania.
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) sources said, bags, shoes, dolls, mats, sataranjis, shika, paposh (door mat), yarn, baskets, lamps, clothes, frame, hats, key rings, wallet, calendars, palki (palanquin), tissue box, blankets, jute and plastic and other household products made by jute have posed huge demand in international market.
Export of jute and jute goods, which account for part of the livelihood of tens of thousands of growers, tumbled 24.66 percent to $498 million during the period.
The sector hit a rough patch earlier this fiscal year in the face of waning demand for economic slowdown in Turkey, one of its biggest market, and anti-dumping duty slapped by India.
Data provided by the EPB shows that Bangladesh exported jute and jute products worth US$ 421 million in the first half (July-Dec) of the current financial year.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau, the sector earned $1.02 billion from jute and jute products exports last fiscal year.
Bangladesh Jute Mill Corporation (BJMC) Chairman Shah Muhammad Nasim told Daily Industry, “There is a huge demand of Bangladesh jute and jute goods in 60 counties in the globe. We can increase jute and jute goods export several times by diversifying our products. The government has already taken steps in this regard.”
According to BJMC, there are 22 jute mills in operation under public sector while the number of jute mills in private sector is around 200. But most of them have shut down.