DHAKA, BANGLADESH (12 February 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed an agreement with Eastern Bank Ltd (EBL) for a $20 million loan to support the development of Bangladesh’s textile and garment sectors—two of the country’s most important growth contributors—and help fill the financing gap in the local financial market.
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 in Dhaka. Top officials from both institutions were also in attendance including Manmohan Parkash, ADB Country Director for Bangladesh, and Ali Reza Iftekhar Hassan O. Rashid, EBL’s Additional Managing Director.
“The textile and garment sectors are essential parts of the Bangladesh economy, raising incomes for large numbers of workers, particularly women,” said Ms. Engstrom. “We are confident that our partnership with Eastern Bank, a trusted financial institution in Bangladesh, will contribute to the development of the textile and garment sectors in the country.”
Bangladesh is currently the second largest exporter of textiles and garments, accounting for about 15% of the country’s gross domestic product and employing over 4 million workers, 85% of whom are women. However, making the industry a safe place to work in is essential in order for it to maintain its position as a main driver of economic growth.
The loan will be used to finance socially and environmentally sustainable projects in Bangladesh’s textile and garment sectors. Specifically, the assistance will finance the construction or expansion of textile and garment factories that meet the high structural, fire, and electrical safety standards required. This, in turn, will enhance health and safety standards of the sector. It will also help develop Bangladesh’s local financial sector through Eastern Bank’s expanded lending portfolio.
At the event, Mr. Iftekhar reiterated the decade long relationship of EBL with ADB as development partners and conveyed his gratitude for all the support that ADB is rendering for the development of Bangladesh’s financial sector. He also assured that EBL will widen its support for the growth and development of Bangladesh’s textile and garment sectors.
Eastern Bank, established in 1992, is a leading private commercial bank in Bangladesh. It is also the first bank in Bangladesh rated by international rating agency, Moody’s.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.