Uzbekistan wants to create cotton trading hub in BangladeshJasim Uddin
Uzbekistan has made a proposal to Bangladesh for creating a hub of trading Uzbek cotton in the region by setting up a free warehouse in the country under the much talked about cotton agreement between the two countries, officials of the commerce ministry said.
They said that Uzbekistan had recently sent a modified draft of memorandum of understanding with a provision for establishing a free warehouse from where they would sell cotton to Bangladeshi users and export to other countries in the region.
The country has also offered to export up to 2 lakh tonnes of cotton annually to Bangladesh under the proposed agreement, they said.
‘We have sought opinion from different stakeholders including National Board of Revenue, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association and other users of the product,’ a senior commerce ministry official told New Age on Monday.
He said that the government would take a decision on the issue as soon as possible after getting opinion from the stakeholders.
An inter-ministerial meeting in this regard would be held in a week or two, he added.
According to the proposal, Uzbekistan will bring raw cotton to Bangladesh and build a stock in the proposed warehouse and then supply to Bangladeshi users and export to other neighboring countries.
BTMA president Jahangir Alamin told New Age that they needed to know details of the proposal before accepting or rejecting it.
‘BTMA’s decision will depend on many things like whether the warehouse facility will be given to only Uzbekistan or other countries will also be allowed the same facility and is there any chance for creating a monopoly in cotton supply,’ he said.
There are also some positive sides of establishing a cotton warehouse in the country. It would reduce lead-time in import of the product along with cost as the product would be readily available in the country, he said.
However, BTMA will give its formal opinion after knowing details of the proposal, he said.
Currently, Bangladesh produces only 1.2 lakh bales of cotton a year which is very insignificant compared with its annual demand.
The country imports more than 39 lakh bales of cotton annually from different countries such as the USA, India, Pakistan, Australia, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries.
Of the quantity, more than 35 per cent of cotton is imported from Uzbekistan through third countries’ traders in Europe which raises the price of the item fully closed.
Rahima Food incurred and lead-time in shipment.
In May 2012, Dhaka and Tashkent agreed to sign a cotton supply agreement under which Uzbekistan would export a particular quantity of cotton to Bangladesh.
Since then, both the countries are trying to finalise the draft of the agreement.
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Uzbekistan has made a proposal to Bangladesh for creating a hub of trading Uzbek cotton in the region by setting up a free warehouse in the country under the much talked about cotton agreement between the two countries, officials of the commerce ministry said. Full story
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