Bangladeshâ€™s garment industry mostly depends on imported cotton for raw materials sourcing mostly from India and China. Bangladesh is currently the second largest cotton importer in the world sourcing. If Africa produces more cotton, it will be helpful for Bangladesh and it can be good alternative for cotton import.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith speaking at the inaugural session of the African-Asian Cotton B2B Meeting organized by International Islamic Trade Financing Corporation (ITFC) of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group at The Westin Hotel, Dhaka on Sunday said that African countries can be a major source of cotton used as raw materials in the Bangladeshâ€™s garment industry, as the African cotton is not only of good quality but easy for import.
The meeting aimed to improve business to business relations between African and Bangladeshi importers. Finance minister further added that the cotton imported from India and China is not original. It is very difficult to get original cotton from these countries.
ITFC is financing and supervising a cotton development project in West Africa, titled â€œCotton Development and Partnership Programme.â€
Bangladesh economy is driven by garment industry which will continue to dominate the economy for the next 20 to 25 years.
African Cotton Association President Baba Berthe, Bangladesh Cotton Association President Mohammad Shahidullah and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association Vice President Mohammad Ali Khokon also spoke at the function.
Mohammad Shahidullah said that African countries produce high quality cotton. Import of African is also more cost-effective compared to other countries.
As African cotton industry is purely export-oriented while India and China have their own demands of cotton. They have their own demands, importing cotton from India and China is sometimes challenging.
Mohammad Ali Khokon said that the cotton import increased to 7.087m bales from 4.876m bales in the last five years with Africa making increasing contribution to the global cotton supply. He said that Bangladesh has now a dominant position in cotton for 425 spinning mills.
Currently, Bangladeshi mills are sourcing around 20.88 percent of its total cotton demand from African countries apart from importing cotton from countries like India and the United States, according to BTMA data.
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