Interview with Mr Abdul Latif Siddique

Mr Abdul Latif Siddique
Mr Abdul Latif Siddique
Ministry of Textiles & Jute, Bangladesh
Ministry of Textiles & Jute, Bangladesh

We extend our best wishes for that. Infact, Bangladesh has created history by surpassing India in exporting garments to the US market. Textile and apparel exports from Bangladesh have increased by 10% since 2008 onwards. How if we take a look on the factors that led this growth?

Bangladesh made an appreciable achievement in developing her Primary Textile Sector such as spinning, knitting, weaving and dyeing-finishing industries with state-of-the-art–technologies of Western Europe, USA, Japan etc during the last two decades. This has resulted in considerable improvements in supply of quality knit and woven fabrics required for the export-oriented Garment industry of Bangladesh. This has caused sharp increase in export of Bangladesh garments to the markets of US and other developed countries. Moreover, the cheap labour, long experience of the textile and garment entrepreneurs, 5% cash assistance for use of locally produced textile materials by the export-oriented garment, provision for back to back letter of credit for sourcing the raw materials for the export-oriented garment industry etc. have considerably helped the recent growth of garment export. Bangladesh garment export mainly occupied lower end and high volume products in which other medium and high valued garment producers and exporters don’t have competitive advantage over Bangladesh. These are the important factors, which have leaded Bangladesh to high growth of RMG exports during the recent years.

And how about Jute industry- 1/4th of your country's population is directly or indirectly involved in the jute industry. Presently, industry is facing several challenges to its numero uno status; one being the synthetic substitute. What reforms are made to address this challenge?

The market for traditional jute products has declined over the years due to competition with the different cheaper goods produced from synthetic and polypropylene. But with the increased environmental awareness about the use of eco-friendly and bio-degradable products, popularity of jute products have been on rise both in developed and developing countries for effective retardation of ecological degradation. It has diversified use as industrial raw materials, intermediate and end use products having global market demand. Jute has a great potential to contribute to create a larger employment opportunity, income generation and poverty alleviation through improvement of quality of jute fibre, adaptation of new technologies and processes for diversified jute products and alternative use of it.

The following reforms are under implementation to make the jute products popular and competitive in the international market over the synthetic based products:

(i)Efforts for production of high yield jute seeds for quality raw jute production have been initiated,

(ii)Diversification of jute products to meet the multifarious use in the domestic and export markets, Jute Research Institute is being strengthened for development of production of diversified jute goods, appropriate steps have been initiated for increasing the use of eco-friendly jute and jute goods in the domestic and overseas markets, to increase domestic use of jute goods, necessary steps are being taken for ensuring compulsory use of jute bags for food crops, sugar, fertilizer, cement etc., the Government has been encouraging setting up of smaller mills since these are more profitable and manageable compared to the composite mills, for ensuring sustainable supply of skilled manpower for the jute industry, Diploma Course on Jute Technology would be introduced.

What policies are adopted to emphasize on infrastructure & technology up-gradation in the industry?

Bangladesh is still a manufacturer of traditional jute products such as, Jute Twine and Yarn, Hessian, Sacking and Carpet Backing. Very few jute mills have started producing Jute Geo-Textile, Home Textiles and Technical Textiles in a limited scale. Due to the introduction of low priced synthetic and polypropylene packaging materials and shopping bags, the demand for packaging bags of jute had been gradually loosing their price competitiveness in domestic and foreign markets. But due to the eco-friendliness and bio-degradability, the jute products, have started gaining popularity over the synthetic based packaging products during the recent years. So the Government of Bangladesh has taken up a programme for diversification of jute products for use of various purposes and an organization namely, Jute Diversification Promotion Centre(JDPC) has been established with the assistance of EU/CFC to provide TA support to the small and medium scale enterprises to produce diversified jute products. The following policies are adopted on infrastructure and technology up-gradation in the jute industry of Bangladesh:

(i)Projects for Balancing, Modernization and Replacement (BMR) of the old machinery of public and private sector mills would be implemented for improving the productivity and quality of jute products;

(ii)The Government would encourage setting up of smaller mills with modern technology since these are more profitable and manageable compared to the composite mills;

(iii)For uninterrupted production of jute mills, in-house gas generators would be encouraged to install in the respective mills;

(iv) In order to ensure regular supply of spare parts to the jute mills, the existing foundry facilities will be strengthened and setting up of new workshops for manufacturing of essential spare parts required for jute mills will be encouraged.

Published on: 12/10/2009

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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