Jute is a versatile, natural fiber that has been used for thousands of years to make things such as rope, twine, hessian bags, rugs, and much more. While it is still being used extensively around the world, it is not as popular as it could have been. Given the increasing focus on environmental issues these days, jute good products can be put into the lime light, as they are environment friendly. Taking in view the prospects, this is the high time to promote the export of the jute-diversified products using limited resources.
Although Bangladesh is famous for jute and allied fibers, garments industries swept in and have developed due to relative advantage and cheap labor cost. As there is the Multi fiber concept of merger jute with other natural and synthetic fibers, jute has bright future for using them in the various textile areas. It needs wide support for production and marketing of such diversified products. As a result, the Govt. of Bangladesh initiated policy programmed for the production of diversified jute goods through private sector.
The government’s new jute policy is expected to focus on enhancement of the country’s production capacity, diversification of the product base and growth of export earnings. It would be good if it were complemented with good corporate governance practices within the remaining BJMC (Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation) mills to ensure that both public and private mills can compete on equal footing. BJMC’s financial losses continue to be a significant fiscal burden. This has arisen not only from BJMC’s nearly automatic access to loans from the nationalized commercial banks (NCBs) for many years, but also BJMC’s greater control over the purchase price of raw jute and export price for jute goods. These conditions do not create a level playing field for the private mills. Addressing these issues would enhance efficiency and competitiveness of the sector and may help Bangladesh regain its past glory in the jute market.
Setting up a new market: France________________________
At present, Jute industry is the second largest industrial employer in the country. About 1.2 M acres of land is in use for jute cultivation per year. Bangladesh approximately earns about 2000 crore taka from exporting jute goods on an average per year. In Bangladesh 10% of the total labor force is engaged in jute sector. Jute products have a good market in foreign countries like France, USA, UK, Germany, Australia, and the Middle East. The products in demand include jute shopping bags, blankets, apparels, handicrafts.
The Bangladeshi jute is yet to tap the European market. The demand for environment-friendly products is on the rise worldwide. Based on these criteria we are planning to export jute to France where state of the art infrastructure, business-friendly legal and regulatory environment is present. It is true that we will be facing some challenges as the market is sophisticated, quality-conscious, high-tech and competitive. We must enter the France market as early as possible to be competitive throughout Europe. On the other hand, opportunities are present like relatively advanced technologies, ideal test market for introduction of new high-tech and consumer products, and no threat of existing jute product producers. There are some export requirements. All exported goods must be presented to the appropriate Customs office and declared for clearance. Goods imported into France must be declared within the time limits. Import licenses are required only for a limited number of products. These generally fall into the two categories of measures to protect local agriculture production and measures of state control. Products subject to a quota require import licenses, which are granted only to importers based in France. Import licenses are also required for certain products not subject to quotas, but covered with public...