Govt to ask 19 commercial wings soon to take steps
21 March 2015, Nirapad News: The government is likely to direct 19 commercial wings of foreign missions to boost the country’s export and explore new markets for jute and jute goods, officials said.
The Ministry of Textiles and Jute (MoTJ) recently sent a letter to the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to take necessary initiatives with a view to increasing export of jute products to the international market, they said.
A high official of MoC told the FE: “We’ve received a request letter from MoTJ. In line with the letter, MoC may direct some 19 commercial wings of the missions soon to take necessary steps for creating new markets and increasing export of jute goods.
Export earning from jute and jute goods decreased severely in recent times due to fall in dollar price as well as global recession, especially for political turmoil in the Middle-East and international sanction on Iraq, sources said.
It is urgently needed to increase export volume and explore new markets for jute and jute goods, so that fresh employment is created in the country, they opined.
The MoC official said: “The export destinations of Bangladesh’s jute products are limited. We need to search new markets for exporting our products. The authorities concerned are working in this connection.”
“About 75,419 tonnes of jute goods worth around Tk 7.60 billion, manufactured by different jute mills, remain stockpiled in different jute mills across the country,” the MoTJ letter said.
“Quality of the jute items is at risk, as these have long been stockpiled due to fall in export, following their sagging demand in the international market. Besides, storing huge quantity of goods is a difficult task.”
About 80,000 employees are working in the state-owned mills, run by Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), which has to pay Tk 750 million a month as salary, it added.
BJMC has long been manufacturing different types of packaging fabrics, hessian, sacks, carpet backing, mats and bags, which are exported to different countries. But now the use of jute goods across the world has fallen significantly due to availability of various alternatives, said sector insiders.
As per EPB statistics, earning from jute and jute goods during the first eight months of this fiscal year, 2014-15, stood at $ 569 million, registering a growth of 6.40 per cent over the earning during the same period of the previous fiscal.
BJMC has set a target to purchase 2.614 million quintals of jute in the current fiscal. Of the target, the organisation purchased only 22 per cent till date.
Now BJMC is operating 26 mills, including 3 non-jute industries. There are 7 mills in Dhaka zone, 10 in Chittagong zone and 9 in Khulna zone.