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Request to the United States to provide duty-free facilities for the import of cotton

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Own Correspondent: Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has requested the United States to grant duty-free facilities to Bangladesh in the import of cotton.

The commerce minister said, ‘Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of ready-made garments. On the other hand, the United States is a major cotton producing country. Bangladesh imports a large amount of cotton every year for use in garment factories. And as a single country, the United States is the largest export market for Bangladesh’s manufactured garments. If the United States gives duty-free facilities to Bangladesh in the import of cotton, it will be beneficial for the garment industry.

He made this request at the Global Cotton Summit at a hotel in the capital on Friday (January 20). The conference was organized by Bangladesh Cotton Association in collaboration with Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA). President of Cotton Association Mohammad Ayub presided over the function.

Tipu Munshi said, ‘Every year the country’s garment industry requires 9 million bales of cotton. Only 1.6 percent of it is produced in the country. The rest has to be imported. Efforts are being made to increase cotton production in the country. However, even if the production is doubled, a large amount of cotton will have to be imported. If we want to export $100 billion worth of ready-made garments in the next two years, we will need a huge amount of cotton. In this case, the United States needs duty-free facilities.

An inter-ministerial meeting will discuss how to increase cotton production, the commerce minister said, noting that many countries like Cambodia have a lot of unused land. If cotton can be produced there and brought to the country by leasing such land, it is possible to meet the demand of cotton.

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Foreign diplomats, including Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Dhaka, Helen La Fave, were present at the event. The president of FBCCI also spoke. Jasim Uddin, BTMA President Mohammad Ali Khokon, BGMEA President Farooq Hossain etc.

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