Bangladesh mulls over choosing Africa as alternative source of cotton
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-04-09 21:05:14.0 BdST Updated: 2017-04-09 21:05:14.0 BdST
Bangladesh is considering Africa as the alternative source of cotton import which is the primary raw material used in producing garments.
Currently, India and China are the two leading countries from which Bangladesh imports the item.
The alternative source was discussed at the “African-Asian Cotton B2B Meeting” arranged by International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation in Dhaka on Sunday.
Cotton traders from home and abroad attended the meeting which talked about the possibility of picking Africa as an alternative.
“The crisis hits the garment sector when India and China stop exporting,” said Bangladesh Cotton Association President Mohammad Shahidullah.
African Cotton Association President Baba Barthe claimed cotton of Africa has a reputation worldwide.
“We supply the product as per plans.”
Square Fashion Ltd’s Deputy General Manager Taslimul Hoque highlighted how Africa if chosen as an alternative, may bring down the production cost.
But he also pointed out problems in making Africa a priority.
“The biggest obstacle in importing cotton from Africa is time. It takes six weeks after the shipment while for India it takes only 15-30 days,” he told reporters at the end of the talk.
Square Fashions imports less than 10 percent of required cotton from Africa but the rate can be increased, he opined.
Munich Group’s Md Anis Faruq, on the other hand, preferred picking Africa as an alternative source of cotton for Bangladesh.
“India and China use lion share of their home-grown cotton in their garment industries. Sometimes they impose tariff; stop exporting.”
“On the contrary, Africa grows only seven percent of cotton produced worldwide but prefers to export it all. This is the biggest advantage of Africa,” he said.
Chief Guest of the seminar Finance Minister AMA Muhith highlighted struggle in producing cotton in Bangladesh.
“Cotton has to compete with food items. Farmers do not prefer harvesting cotton but cotton is needed to produce garments and we will have to depend on garments sector for at least the next 20-25 years,” said the minister.
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