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August 2013

Uzbekistan plans to sell cotton to Bangladesh

Source: The Times of Central Asia, 7.08.2013

Uzbekistan would supply 200,000 metric tons of cotton to Bangladesh annually under the terms of a new bilateral agreement, Dhaka’s Financial Express newspaper reported on August 5.

The two countries already exchanged the draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) which is now under scrutiny, newspaper says.

Uzbekistan is the sixth largest cotton producer in the world with 4.6 million bales produced in 2011. Bangladesh is also holding talks with India for getting 1.5 million bales of cotton a year.

"Since Uzbekistan is a major source of cotton for us, we want to make the import process easier and uninterrupted. So, we are finalising the draft of the MoU for signing as soon as possible."

The Uzbek state-run foreign trade companies namely 'Uzprommashimpex', 'Uzinterimpex' and 'Uzmarkazimpeks' will supply the cotton to any importer registered in Bangladesh, hindustantimes report. The proposed cotton deal with India has become stuck up due to differences over providing guarantee by Bangladesh for mandatory import of the item.

The country's yearly requirement of cotton is nearly 4.0 million bales of which 0.12 million bales are produced locally. Rest of the demand - nearly 98 per cent - is being met by importing it from various countries.

Every year, Bangladesh imports nearly 0.9 million bales of cotton from India, the second largest producer of the item globally. The other sources from where Bangladesh imports cotton are Africa, the USA, Australia, Pakistan and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

A senior Commerce Ministry official said about 35 per cent of total cotton import comes from Uzbekistan, a CIS member.

Sources said Bangladesh and Uzbekistan have agreed for cooperation on various bilateral trade issues including cotton supply in a meeting of the Joint Working Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation held in Tashkent in May 2012.