They also emphasized on research and development to develop new jute goods
Diversification of jute goods and comprehensive policies would boost jute goods export, as the demand for the natural fiber was growing across the globe, experts said on Thursday.
Policy makers, private entrepreneurs and think tank made the observations at a round table discussion titled “Revitalizing Export of Jute Goods from Bangladesh” organized by Bangladesh Enterprise Institute at its office in Gulshan, Dhaka.
They urged the government to provide sufficient fund for installation of latest technologies and machinery in the jute mills to help manufacturers produce diversified jute products.
They also emphasized on research and development to develop new jute goods.
“There is a huge demand of jute goods as it is environment friendly. So, Bangladesh has to explore the opportunity to boost jute goods export,” said Manzur Ahmed, a former director of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
He said as a state trading enterprise Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) should be more efficient in dealing with jute.
The management of BJMC could be outsourced from private sector for improving its efficiency and services To bring new technology for the sector, the government can bring foreign direct investment to revitalize the ailing sector,’ he said.
The keynote paper was co-authored by Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies research director Mahfuz Kabir and BEI consultant Mohammad A Razzak.
Mahfuz in the keynote speech said the demand of natural fibers was increasing around the world and Bangladesh should tap the opportunity.
‘There is a billion dollar market around the world for jute related products. Exporting jute sticks for charcoal and carbon fiber could be a game changer for the economy. Besides, supplying the natural fiber for automobile industry will be another millstone as the global automobile giants started using natural fiber for cars’ interior,’ he said.
He said jute-tin, jute leaf tea, viscose and geotextile all have enormous potential for Bangladesh.
‘The BJMC should strengthen its research capacity and update machineries. The public corporation is overburdened with administrative inefficiency and financial troubles,’ he said.
BJMC chairman Shah Muhammad Nasim said although the corporation had some limitations but in recent times it made significant progress.
‘We have a large variety of jute products in the offering. Recently, we have explored new markets in Ghana, Sudan and Syria,’ he said.
He said that there was syndication in jute export sector, creating problem for the industry.
‘We are trying to break the syndication in the industry.’
Former ambassador and BEI president Farooq Sobhan said there remained huge potential in jute export and the BEI was trying to facilitate the process.
‘We will have further dialogue with the government and we are hopeful that the outcome will be positive,’ he hoped.