African cotton growers eye for Bangladesh market

African cotton growers eye for Bangladesh marketDhaka - African countries, comprising the second largest region in global cotton trade, aim to grab larger share of Bangladesh's 1-billion-dollar cotton market, a media report said Friday.

Accounting for roughly 20 per cent of the global cotton trade worth 12 billion dollars, the African cotton growers with a 10 per cent market share in Bangladesh, now want to export directly to the South Asian country instead relying on mostly Swiss and French cotton merchants.

"The Bangladesh market is a big one and we need a direct trade link to increase our market share," a Tanzanian cotton grower, Ezekiel Mchunga, was quoted to have said by New Age newspaper.

He led a 21-member African cotton growers in Dhaka to hold talks with Bangladesh's top textile industry bosses and government officials to take stock of local market.

Bangladesh is now the third-largest clothing manufacturer, with over 11 billion dollars in annual apparel export proceeds.

It has also emerged as the third-largest cotton importing country with annual imports of 3.5 million bales of cotton.

Bangladesh's prime sources of cotton are Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and India.

The country is almost entirely dependent on imported cotton, spending around a billion dollars a year.

A Matin Chowdhury, a leader in the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association comprising private spinners and fabric manufacturers, supports a deal for direct cotton imports from Africa.

"Bangladeshi importers need to be assured of the reliability for bulk supply and financial credibility of African suppliers, if they want to deal directly with them," Matin said.

He suggested establishing banking ties, shipping connections, dependable pre-shipment testing facilities and crop forecasts in order to boost West Africa's cotton sales to Bangladesh. (dpa)

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