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Bangladesh sees jute as a growth driver

Thousands of jobs have been created by small and medium jute mills. Jute production has increased from 65 lakh bales in 2014 to 70 lakh bales last year. A rule has made jute use mandatory in goods packaging. More than 100 crore sacks were additionally produced due to the rule and entrepreneurs expanded their export base by increasing the types of jute goods from 135 last year to 240 this year. There is a 20 per cent subsidy for diversification.

Jute is seen as a substitute for harmful polythene. Soon Bangladesh will recognise jute goods as a product of the processed industry. This will help exporters avail of the incentives on exports like other agro-processed goods.

As of now foreign experts are running the textile and jute sectors and a lot of foreign currency is spent on them. The country hopes to avoid this by training a skilled workforce. High-value papers such as that for cheques, stamps and currency notes can be made with jute. Car brands like BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Chrysler, Mitsubishi and Volvo have started making different environment-friendly components using jute.

Bangladesh has a potential for exporting jute worth some seven billion dollars in the next seven years.