DHAKA: Former President APJ Abdul Kalam today asked India and Bangladesh to join hands to promote jute, saying their joint initiatives can eliminate plastic products from the world and benefit their economy.
"Fortunately Bangladesh has a plant called jute while India has the industry for jute," he said while addressing the 110th founding anniversary celebration of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
Kalam, also known as the Missile Man of India, said "it is a great opportunity for the two neighbours to take a visionary action to replace and eliminate plastic products throughout the world by technology, development and marketing".
He suggested the jute growing southwestern Khulna region in Bangladesh to replicate his famous Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA) model focusing the jute industry as part of initiatives to promote the natural fiber as it could enable the world to get rid of the harmful plastic products.
For this, he said, "we need a cooperative based structure by the farmers who manage production, processing, technological reinforcement and marketing of the jute products in the regions as independent enterprises".
Kalam said the governments and the industries from both the nations needed to offer their focused efforts to reach out to each other for mutual benefit as they "share significant natural resources including 54 rivers, the Sundarbans, world largest mangrove forest, which is 2/3rd in Bangladesh and 1/3rd in India".
"Both nations have to regulate their trade and business with border agreements and legal framework for trade and this will assist the economic progress of both the nations," Kalam said.