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ITFC first African-Asian cotton B2B meeting held in Dhaka to promote sustainable intra-trade relationships

The International Islamic Trade Financing Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, has organized its first African-Asian Cotton B2B Meeting event as part of its Cotton Development and Partnership Program on 9 April at Westin Hotel in Dhaka. Another meeting with same purpose will be held at Jakarta in Indonesia on April 12.

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Bangladesh is considering Africa as the alternative source of cotton, which is the primary raw material used in producing garments. Currently, India and USA are the two leading countries from where Bangladesh imports cotton.

This event served as a platform for networking and business partnerships, and provided an opportunity for discussing ideas, industry trends and market updates. The outcomes of this meeting should positively contribute to the textile and apparel sector of the country and enhance cooperation between Asia and Africa.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, the Chairman of the IDB Board of Governors and Engineer Hani Salem Sonbol, Chief Executive Officer, ITFC were present at the meeting along with West African cotton producers, African Cotton Association, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, Bangladesh Cotton Association and Bengali Spinning/Textile Mills.

Finance Minister highlighted the struggle in producing cotton in Bangladesh. He said, “Cotton has to compete with food items. Farmers do not prefer harvesting cotton but cotton is needed to produce garments and we will have to depend on garments sector for at least the next 20-25 years.”

Bangladesh Cotton Association (BCA) President Mohammad Shahidullah said, “The crisis hits the garment sector when India and China stop exporting.” Mohammad Ali Khokon Vice-President of BTMA, presented a presentation about “Bangladesh Cotton and Textile Industry”.

African Cotton Association President Baba Barthe claimed cotton of Africa has a reputation worldwide. He said, “We supply the product as per plans.”

On the meeting, some cotton company like CMDT Mali, CCA & CIDT cote divoire, Sofitex, Sodecottonof Cameroon, Calik Cotton have discussed about their company.

H.E Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC, Md Anis Faruq, Director of Munich Group’s, Taslimul Hoque, Deputy General Manager, Square Fashion Ltd’s were also present at the meeting.

Calik Cotton, which supplies cotton of different origins grown both in Turkey and abroad and serves major local and international textile industrialists, is sponsoring both the meetings as the event’s strategic partner.

The ITFC is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank Group, formed to consolidate the trade finance business that was formerly undertaken by various windows within the IDB Group. It is recognized as the leading trade financier for cotton in West Africa. As such, it is mandated to facilitate and promote intra-trade among member countries of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and assist them in developing the competitiveness of their strategic products.

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