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Bangladesh losing international jute product market to India due to poor marketing

Jute ‘Made in Bangladesh’ has a renowned global reputation and demand for jute products are skyrocketing day by day. However, every year Bangladeshi state-owned jute mills are counting tens of billions of BDT losses. On the contrary, India is securing its share in the global jute market importing raw jute from Bangladesh.

Whereas India buys raw jute materials from Bangladesh and exporting it after processing it, making a sizable profit. And here the question arises why Bangladesh can’t able to do it?

jute products Made in Bangladesh
Figure 1: Jute ‘Made in Bangladesh’ has a renowned global reputation and demand for jute products are skyrocketing day by day. Courtesy: bdjutegallery.com

Trina Khan a Bangladeshi living in Paris for nearly a decade says, “French people use a variety of jute made products but the users don’t know the jute produced in Bangladesh.”

“Even in five-star hotels, I see jute made carpets purchased from India – which originated in Bangladesh – but sadly no one even knows the jute came from Bangladesh.”

Varieties of Bangladesh made jute products are becoming globally popular. As nowadays people are opting this sustainable natural fiber made products. On the contrary, this lucrative ‘golden fiber’ sector in Bangladesh is counting loses every year. The state-owned jute mills count tens of billions of BDT in loses.

According to the latest Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BTMC) information in FY 2019-20, 22 state-owned jute mills have counted a 3.95 billion BDT in lose.

BJMC loss profit 10  years

Lack of efficient manpower, old machinery, poor branding capability are the prime causes for Bangladesh to fall behind in grabbing more international market share, thinks the Director of Jute Diversification Promotion Center, MD. Abul Kalam Azad.

raw jute materials produced in Bangladesh
Figure 2: The raw jute materials produced in Bangladesh are mostly exporting to India means India making a profit by processing exported jute from Bangladesh. Courtesy: dailyasianage.com

“We don’t have any strong marketing policy to grab the market, as it is a policy level matter. India is using the latest machinery to process jute for export, on the other hand, we are still using old machinery,” says Abul Kalam Azad.

“Our jute mills have a huge lack in efficient manpower. We need efficient manpower – means technical manpower.”

Although Bangladesh is the top jute producing country but India is securing the global jute market.

The raw jute materials produced in Bangladesh are mostly exporting to India, and foreign buyers are buying jute products from Indians without knowing the jute came from Bangladesh.

Which means India making a profit by processing exported jute from Bangladesh.

Tapan Das, a jute businessman from Kolkata, India thinks that India grabbed a sizable chunk of the global market making jute products according to the demands and through well-organized market management.

“India imports jute from Bangladesh and make products processing in their own machine. As well as India meets its 100% local jute market demand. Which also ensures market protection for the jute product manufacturers.”

adamjee jute mill closure by World Bank
Figure 3: Once the largest jute mill in the world, the Adamjee Jute Mills was closed in 2002 by the World Bank’s prescription. Courtesy: collected

Shafia Shama, a jute entrepreneur thinks poor marketing/negotiation skills with foreign buyers, along with failing to export quality jute products which have a market value, are the main obstacles for Bangladesh in establishing the foothold in the international jute market.

“There is a big market scope for jute in Europe, US, Australia’s automobile industry. Unfortunately, Bangladesh couldn’t capture a large market mainly because of two reasons.”

“First, for not ensuring quality and second can’t we fix the price of jute. Foreign buyers mainly see these two things.”

MD. Mamunur Rashid, Marketing Director of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMS) emphasized that the World Bank has a black hand behind Bangladesh’s losing of global jute market.

Mamunur Rashid also said, “In 2002 Bangladesh closed the Adamjee Jute Mills by the World Bank’s prescription. At that time India opened some big jute mills funded by the World Bank. And India hugely profited from this and also got our buyers.”

Although Bangladesh diversified its jute products but the scenario hasn’t changed much.

[ Note: The story is made based on a BBC report]

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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