China keen to invest in textile sector | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 13, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 13, 2008

China keen to invest in textile sector

Visiting business team tells BTMA

The Chinese are keen to invest in Bangladesh textile sector, according to the head of a visiting business delegation from China.
“The Chinese entrepreneurs feel encouraged to invest their money in the textile sector here as Bangladesh enjoys facilities like GSP in Europe and has cheap labour force,” Cao Xin Yu, the vice president of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile, told some local entrepreneurs yesterday at a meeting organised by Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) at its office in Dhaka.
During the meeting, the visiting team, however, sought government policy support and BTMA's cooperation to translate such an investment plan into reality.
BTMA President Abdul Hai Sarker highlighted the business potentials of the textile industry here.
"Bangladesh can only supply 35 percent raw materials to the local woven sector and 90 percent raw materials to the knitwear sector. The Chinese investors may come up here with investment proposals to produce fabrics for the woven sector," Sarker said.
According to the industry insiders, Bangladesh exported RMG products worth $9 billion in the 2006-07 fiscal, of which $4.5 billion was spent for importing fabrics mainly from China.
Sarker said since China is at the top of the list of non-cotton item producing countries it can come up with investment proposals for producing synthetic, polyester and viscose in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has also been gradually shifting to produce non-cotton items from the cotton item, he pointed out.
As per data showed by the industry people, at present 10 percent of Bangladesh's total textile production per annum is non-cotton fabrics.
"Bangladesh has been shifting to high value addition option in RMG manufacturing to remain competitive in the world market. The Chinese are also welcome to invest in local fashion and designs," Sarker said.
During the meeting, the Sino-Bangla widening trade gap issue also came up for discussion.
The Chinese team leader pointed out that such a gap might be minimised to some extent as the export of locally made fabrics to China is on the rise.
After the meeting Cao Xin Yu told The Daily Star that the export of Bangladesh non-cotton items to China in the 2006-07 fiscal marked a 73 percent rise over the previous fiscal.
Referring to the China Customs data, he said Bangladesh exported cotton items worth 10.2 million in that fiscal.
"Previously, Bangladesh could hardly export any textile products as China is one of the major textile producing countries in the world," Cao said.
However, the import figure reached $1.445 billion in FY '07. According to Cao, Bangladesh imported 21.8 percent more non-cotton and cotton textile products from China in the fiscal.

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