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Challenges for exports of our jute products

Published : Wednesday, 3 April, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 281

Challenges for exports of our jute products

Challenges for exports of our jute products

Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters Association (BJGEA) is the oldest traditional export trade organization of Bangladesh established in 1970. Since its inception, BJGEA has been increasing the reputation of the country by exporting jute products.

Like Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, our Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina loves Jute Sector with all her heart. Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken various steps to bring back the glorious history of jute and jute industry in this country. Among them, the mandatory use of jute wrapping in products Act-2010, announcement of Jute Day celebration on March 6 from 2016 onwards, Jute Act-2017, National Jute Policy-2018, announcement of jute product as annual product of 2023 and announcement of jute as agricultural product are desirable for the development of jute industry. We firmly believe that it will bear fruitful. We believe that this industry will flourish with your attention, sincerity and wholehearted co-operation for the proper implementation of the measures mentioned by the Honle Prime Minister for the development of jute industry.

Bangladesh was once the top exporter of jute and jute products. Later, the garment sector has been playing an important role in the export of Bangladesh. Analyzing the data of the last 3 years, it can be seen that the export volume of jute and jute products is decreasing. According to the latest data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the export of jute and jute products for the last four financial years is shown below:

The total export target for the financial year 2020-2021 was $1167 million, against which the export was $1161.48 million. The export target of raw jute was 180 million dollars; 138.15 million dollars was achieved. On the other hand, jute yarn and twine target was $750 million, earned $799.04 million, jute sacks and bags target was $145 million, earned $138.66 million. In the case of other jute products, the target was 92 million dollars, but 85.63 million dollars have been achieved. Analyzing the data shows that except for jute yarn and twine, exports of raw jute and other items have decreased.

In FY 2021-2022 the total export target was $1420 million, against which the export was $1120.63 million. Export target of raw jute was 250 million dollars, achieved 216.18 million dollars. On the other hand, the target of jute yarn and twine was 1000 million dollars, 697.80 million dollars were earned, the target of jute sacks and bags was 180 million dollars, and 119.23 million dollars was earned. In case of other jute products, the target was 100 million dollars, 94.42 million dollars was achieved. Analyzing the data shows that exports of items other than raw jute have declined.

Total export target for 2022-2023 financial years was $1280 million, against which export was $912.25 million. Export target of raw jute was $240 million, achieved $204.17 million. On the other hand, jute yarn and twine target was 800 million dollars, earned 497.94 million dollars, Jute sacks and bags target was 130 million dollars, earned 109.84 million dollars. For other jute products the target was $110 million, $100.30 million was achieved. Analyzing the data shows that the export of all jute products, including raw jute, has decreased.

In the financial year 2023-2024, against the total target of 1020 million dollars (July-December), 436.12 million dollars have been achieved. Whereas the raw jute export target is $240 million, it has achieved (July-December) $73.15 million. On the other hand, jute yarn and twine target is 536 million dollars, achieved (July-December) 254.45 million dollars, target of jute sacks and bags is 130 million dollars, achieved (July-December) 56.59 million dollars. The data obtained from July-December of the financial year 2023-2024 cannot be considered to be as expected.

Compared to other countries in the world, Bangladesh produces the highest quality jute. Bangladesh is the top jute exporter in 2019, according to the United Nations Agriculture Organization (FAO). The amount of which is 1.6 million tons. If the amount of jute produced in Bangladesh can be exported to meet the domestic demand of the country, it is possible to increase our foreign exchange earnings significantly. Bangladeshs ability to produce jute is unparalleled in the world. If we can increase exports and create markets in new countries by diversifying jute, we can make a significant contribution to the global market competition with our capabilities. Our competitor countries India, Pakistan and China along with other countries have a leading role in the world market through jute production capacity, export policy and diversification of jute products.

Privately owned jute mills are unable to produce due to lack of capacity to produce according to demand. A bag of Chaat (Gunny bag) produced by BJMC costs Tk 40-50. On the other hand, the price of a bag of Chaat produced at the private level is Tk 70-80. In the case of packing rice, pulses and daily essential items purchased by the government, chatter bags are currently being purchased from the private sector. It is costing the government 30-40 Tk more per bag. In this case, the government is facing financial irreparable loss. Earlier, when the jute mills of BJMC were in operation, jute products worth 6.7 million dollars were exported abroad.

It is requested that no association may include exporting members of other organizations as Associate members contrary to the provision. Small entrepreneurs belonging to BJGEA are not able to fulfill the financial and structural conditions for membership of BJMA and BJSA. Moreover, after being a member of BJGEA for a long time, it is a big question to become a member of BJMA just to get export incentives. They want to achieve their interests only through the issue of cash incentive certificates, even though they have not contributed to the business development, expansion and export of small and medium producers and exporters. All these planes are being adopted for the benefit of petty interests without any thought for the development of the countrys jute industry. Which will deprive the country from earning foreign currency. To ensure that the Trade Organizations cannot have non-voting members/associate members contrary to the Rules of the Ministry of Commerce.

Necessary measures should be taken to enable export members of BJGEA to be granted CIP status. "In the case of export of jute products in CIP Policy-2013: Creating a new sector called Commercial Exporter or Associate Exporter and in the light of the mentioned matter, the export amount can be kept at a minimum of 1 million US dollars.

The writer is Chairman, Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters Association







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