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Uzbek PM Says $1 Billion Of Textile Products Exported In 2014

Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev says his country has exported $1 billion worth of textile products this year and that he expects international sales to grow.

Mirziyaev made the remark on October 13 at an annual cotton fair in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.

Uzbekistan is the world’s fifth-largest exporter of cotton.

Mirziyaev said Uzbekistan produced 3.3 million tons of cotton last year and should do the same in 2014.

The United States and other countries criticize Uzbekistan for using forced labor, including children, to pick cotton.

The Uzbek government forcibly mobilizes public employees -- primarily teachers and students -- to harvest cotton.

Uzbekistan officially banned child labor in 2008 but continues the practice.

British retailer Tesco recently joined more than 150 companies pledging to stop using Uzbek cotton because of the forced labor harvest.

Based on reporting by AFP and