Bangladesh to import 1.5m bales of cotton from India
Dated- 13 Apr , 2012 - Bangladesh
Dhaka and New Delhi will sign an agreement early next month as the government has planned to import 1.5 million bales of cotton from India, officials said.
To this end, an Indian government delegation will visit the capital on May 5 to finalise the deal on cotton import by Bangladesh.
"Bangladesh and India will sign an agreement on cotton supply next month. The government has planned to import 1.5 million bales of cotton from India annually through private channel for the country's textiles industries, official said.
The decision of the government was taken at a meeting Thursday at the conference room of the Ministry of Commerce (MoC).
The meeting has given responsibility to the Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) to prepare a draft agreement on import of cotton, said an official of the Ministry of Commerce (MoC).
"The matter on importing cotton from India will be finalised at a meeting with the Indian government delegation early next month," a deputy secretary of the MoC who attended the meeting told the FE.
He said that apart from cotton import from India, the government will also consider to import it from other alternative sources to save country's local textiles sector.
The export ban by India last month on export of cotton aims at increasing its supply in domestic market amid fears of a low yield this year due to unfavourable weather conditions.
But the country's textiles industry sources said that the ban on cotton export by India and its repeated suspension of shipments of the natural fibre affected Bangladesh's textiles industry.
The annual demand of cotton of the country is about 4.5 million bales. The country has to spend Tk 200-240 billion annually to import cotton for use in textiles.
In the fiscal year (FY) 2010-11 the country produced 80,000 bales of cotton, whereas the production was 70,000 bales in the FY 2009-10, according to Cotton Development Board (CDB).
The CDB has set a target to produce about 6,70,000 bales of cotton by 2015. Besides, 100,000 hectares of land will be brought under cotton cultivation within the next five years. The country has about 2, 00,000 hectares of land fit for cotton production.
Bangladesh imported cotton from Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) including Uzbekistan 1.391 million bales while from India 1.647 million bales, Africa (East and West) 0.301 million bales and other countries 0.598 million bales from July 2010- June 2011.
Commerce Secretary M Ghulam Hussain presided over the meeting. Representatives of Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC), Bangladesh Textiles Mills Association (BTMA), textiles and readymade garments sectors, among others, were present.