Bangladesh is a land of golden fiber. Bangladesh has the potential to become the main supplier of jute to the global car industry. The industry needs about 1,00,000 tons of jute a year, of which 12,000 tons come from Bangladesh. Jute is one of the cheapest and the strongest of all natural fibers and considered as the fiber of the future.
The car industry uses the natural fiber to manufacture the interiors of vehicles. Previously, the car industry used glass fiber to manufacture the interiors. But glass fiber is not recyclable or biodegradable, so in 1994 the search for a green alternative began. Jute emerged as the frontrunner. Bangladesh started supplying jute to high-end car brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Audi in the early 2000s. The country’s jute is much admired for its high fiber quality.The use of the natural jute fiber from Bangladesh by global car brands has helped in diversification of jute products. As a result, Bangladesh has the potential to export jute and jute goods worth almost seven billion dollars annually in the next seven years.
But in reality growth in supply has remained stagnant at five per cent over the last many years. And the unpredictable jute export policy is to blame. For instance, a few years ago, Bangladesh imposed a ban on the export of raw jute from Bangladesh, which left BMW facing a shortage of the natural fiber. Small traders cannot supply jute to car brands directly. Bangladesh government should concentrate more on Jute for promoting worldwide.