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Global Cotton Summit begins in Bangladesh

Monday, March 23, 2015 > 11:50:45

(Financial Express)

A two-day international cotton summit began in Dhaka  Friday with a call to remove all barriers relating to cotton trade and establish good networking in cotton value chain.

Textiles and Jute Minister Mohammad Emaze Uddin Pramanik formally inaugurated the summit styled "Global Cotton Summit Bangladesh 2015" at a city hotel pledging all financial supports to develop the country's textile and clothing industry.

Bangladesh is one of the leading countries in textile world and more than 80 percent of its export earnings come from this sector. "But unfortunately we have to import more than 90 of cotton to meet the local as well as export demands," said the minister hoping that the summit will open up a new opportunity in fulfilling the gap.

Since Bangladesh is not a cotton growing country, it has to import huge quality of cotton especially from India, central Asia, USA, Brazil, Australia and Africa. "But the outsourcing is not always smooth and very often makes big impact due to fluctuation of cotton prices in international market," said Tapan Chowdhury, president of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) while addressing the inaugural session.

The degree of fluctuation is sometimes so acute that both buyers and sellers often face great difficulties in fulfilling and complying contractual obligations. "Moreover, at times cotton exporting countries put export barriers and therefore the import contracts remain unperformed," said Chowdhury urging the participants to address all these relevant issues.

The organisers said the cotton suppliers and buyers had been engaged in disputes because of problems related to weight, quality and LC opening. Such disputes led to the souring of relations between the parties.

Chowdhury hoped that the summit will narrow the communication gap between international cotton sellers and Bangladeshi buyers and help reduce the risk on cotton trade as the buyers and sellers will have the opportunity to hold dialogues among them.

The apex body of the country's textile mills, BTMA and Bangladesh Cotton Association (BCA) jointly organised the two-day summit at Radisson hotel. More than 250 delegates from Bangladesh, India, Poland, US, Russia, Pakistan, China, UK, Turkey, Egypt, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and France attended the summit.

Thirteen sessions on different issues will be held on the sidelines of the summit which is being participated by experts, traders, textile entrepreneurs, manufacturers, business leaders and economists.

The inaugural session was addressed among others by FBCCI (Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry) president Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed and BCA president Muhammad Ayub. BTMA former president Jahangir Alamin and Cotton Incorporated Senior Vice President Mark Messura presented two keynote papers on "Bangladesh Spinning Industry in Next Decade" and  "Global Cotton Outlook, Growths and Economics" respectively.

In his welcome address BCA president Ayub said that export from the country's RMG sector placed the country in a respectable position, adding that the country now imports as much as 5.5 million bales of cotton a year to meet the demand as against 3 million bales 10 years ago.

Dwelling on the country's glorious past of Moslin clothes, FBCCI president Kazi Akram said despite lot of problems, the country's clothing industry is growing fast.  "Sometimes China dumps cotton, waits for price increase."  "But braving all these barriers, we are moving forward. Once there is political stability, we will move fast. We want to materialize our dream, want to surpass China," said the FBCCI president.

BTMA ex-president Jahangir Alamin in his paper described how the country's textile industry came to its present position and became the main strength of the export-oriented garment sector as they play an important role as a backward linkage industry for exports.

He pointed out about the sector's requirement and preparations to achieve an export target of US$ 50 billion by the year 2021. At present, the sector accounted for US$ 24 billion out of the country's total export of US$ 30.17 billion.

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