Substantial losses in government-owned Bangladeshi jute mills led to shut-downs of eight facilities in 2007. This year, the government leased five mills to private operators, on condition that lease holders share profits, bear liabilities during the lease tenure and pay a lease fee. In turn, the government will clear previous debt loads. At a July conference held at Bangladesh’s Jute and Textile Ministry, the new jute entrepreneurs expressed confidence in their ability to turn a profit. Taking over at five facilities are Kazi Farms, Nature Back (two facilities), Saad Musa Fabrics and FK Carpet. Reinvigorating jute is a high priority for Bangladesh; jute sales and products were once the main foreign-exchange earner for the country and a big employment sector.