Bangladesh will overhaul state-owned jute mills. They will be equipped with modern equipment and made operationally vibrant and commercially viable. There are 26 such mills in the country and Bangladesh will take the help of China for upgrading the mills. The Chinese government will provide a loan for the project at 1.5 per cent interest rate that will be payable within 20 years.
The hope is that these jute mills will be able to produce different types of high value jute textile products that have a wide range of demand in the local and international markets. These comprise products such as housing textiles, medical textiles, kitchen textiles and readymade garment textiles.
The project is expected to help integrate jute traders and jute growers under one umbrella through the contract farming system that will create a win-win situation for both sides in terms of financial benefit. Jute is considered the golden fiber of Bangladesh. And China has a big demand for jute goods, especially hessian cloth. Hessian cloth is an environment friendly product and is used for preserving tobacco leaf. China has stopped production of hessian cloth because of the high labor cost. So Bangladesh sees a big opportunity for exporting hessian to China. This will help reduce Bangladesh’s massive trade deficit with China.