Bangladesh is about to finalize a deal to import cotton from Uzbekistan. This will ensure the supply of 200,000 tons of cotton annually for the Bangladesh textile industry. Uzbekistan is the sixth largest cotton producer in the world with 4.6 million bales produced in 2011. The two countries already exchanged the draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) which is now under scrutiny.
The draft MoU states that both parties will cooperate with each other for direct delivery of raw cotton from Uzbekistan to Bangladesh on a regular basis. The Uzbek state-run foreign trade companies namely Uzprommashimpex, Uzinterimpex and Uzmarkazimpeks will supply the cotton to any importer registered in Bangladesh.
About 35 per cent of the total cotton imports to Bangladesh is from Uzbekistan. Bangladesh and Uzbekistan had agreed for cooperation on various bilateral trade issues including cotton supply in a meeting of the Joint Working Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation held in Tashkent in May 2012.
Bangladesh is also holding talks with India for getting 1.5 million bales of cotton a year. The country's yearly requirement of cotton is nearly 4.0 million bales, of which 0.12 million bales are produced locally. Rest of the demand -- nearly 98 per cent -- is being met by importing it from various countries.