The Asian Development Bank (ADB), an international development finance institution headquartered in the Philippines, has signed an agreement with Eastern Bank Limited (EBL), one of Bangladesh’s leading private commercial banks, for a US $ 20 million loans to back the country’s garment industry.
The agreement was signed by Christine Engstrom, Director for ADB’s Private Sector Financial Institutions Division, and Ali Reza Iftekhar, Managing Director and CEO of EBL, at a ceremony held in Dhaka on February 12, 2018, a press release issued by the commercial bank stated.
The loan will be used to finance socially and environmentally sustainable projects, specifically, the construction and expansion of garment manufacturing factories to meet the global structural, fire and electrical safety standards.
The press release also maintained that Bangladesh is currently the second-largest exporter of textiles and garments, accounting for about 15 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employing over 4.4 million workers, 85 per cent of whom are women. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to make the industry a safe place to work in order to maintain its position as the main driver of economic growth for the country.
“The textile and garment sector is an essential part of the Bangladesh economy, raising incomes for large numbers of workers, particularly women,” said Engstrom while addressing the program and adding, “We are confident that our partnership will contribute to the improvement of the textile and garment sector”.
Iftekhar, however, reiterated the decadelong relationship of EBL with ADB as development partners and conveyed his gratitude for all the support that ADB is rendering the progress of Bangladesh’s financial sector.
Top officials from both institutions including Manmohan Parkash, ADB Country Director for Bangladesh and Hassan O Rashid, Additional Managing Director of EBL, were also present at the signing ceremony.