Bangladesh, India in Race for Investment in Jute Sector

26 April 2000

Bangladesh and India are in the race to attract a one billion U.S. dollars foreign direct investment (FDI) in the jute sector, local English newspaper Financial Express reported Wednesday. The report said that Bangladesh might be deprived of the big chunk of FDI because of a skilful lobby of India to grip the investment. An American firm has planned to set up a thermoplastic jute composite plant in either of the two countries and the mentioned investment will span a period of five years. In addition to Bangladesh and India, China is also in the competition for the FDI when the U.S. firm decides whether to produce flax, sisal or hemp instead of jute fibers, the report said. The American company, which was said to be "extremely committed " to the project, has already made required technology, financing and marketing arrangements for the plant, the report said, without giving the company's name. While senior official in the just defunct International Jute Organization (IJO) R. Mandal was quoted as saying that India is in the most advantageous position to get the investment, Bangladeshi experts believe that the country is supposed to attract the U.S. investment as the country has a vast scope to diversify jute products and a huge surplus volume of raw jute at comparatively low cost, the report said.

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