Terming cotton as a lifeline of Bangladesh's export economy State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam on Saturday said that the domestic production of cotton in the country is still inadequate.
Attending India Cotton Fest 2020 as a special guest, he said that Bangladesh had to import 61 lakh bales of cotton from nearly 42 countries in the FY 2019-20 which is over 98% of the cotton required to meet the country's need.
The state minister stressed the importance of cotton production and sourcing in Bangladesh due to the exorbitant dependency on cotton import during his speech at the second edition of the cotton fest arranged at Radisson Blu Water Garden.
Salman F Rahman, private sector industry and investment advisor, during the ceremony as the chief guest.
Claiming that the cotton production has accelerated, Shahriar Alam said, "Over the last ten fiscal years, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, cotton production has remarkably gone up from 70,000 bales to 1,77,887 bales."
However, he added that domestic production is still low compared to the yearly demand of around eight million bales.
"With Bangladesh aiming to double its apparel exports over the next five years, it is important to maintain secure and quality cotton imports from its top supplier," said Alam.
Noting that India produces cotton in diverse varieties, he said that it made India a crucial player in the global cotton market.
The state minister expressed hope stating that India as a cotton exporting country would be on the top of Bangladesh's lists benefitting both the countries while enabling them to offer a tough race for other competitors in the global textile business.
The fest is jointly organised by Bangladesh Cotton Association (BCA) in cooperation with Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), Indian Cotton Association Ltd. (ICAL), and India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI).
More than 30 Indian companies have taken part at the Fest which is believed to play a pivotal role in the facilitation of trade, development and production of cotton between the two countries through networking and discussions.