BEI Journal 2020

Bangladesh has been the largest exporter of jute and jute products with around two-thirds share of the global market. However, the amount of export earnings and the share of jute in total export receipts have been meagre over the last two decades. The present paper finds that even though there are ongoing efforts of input and product diversification, and introduction of some value-added products, the sector has not been able to tap the potential of jute as an eco-friendly fibre in the international market. This paper reveals that dependence on jute fibre and traditional products, lack of innovation in product design and diversification, insufficient market search, inefficiency and old machinery of state-owned jute mills, and lack of private sector participation in large-scale investment are some of the important bottlenecks in boosting the export performance of this sector. The government has recently decided to run the state-owned jute mills under public-private partnership (PPP) to avoid cumulative loss, which is also expected to affect the jute export. Given this context the present paper suggests that in order to revive jute exports and rejuvenating the sector, there is a need for bringing high-end and diversified products, such as Sonali jute polybag, jute-tin, jute viscose and cellulose, and improved jute geotextile, among others.

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