Investment grant disbursement mechanism workshop held

The recent cheque distribution ceremony and workshop on Investment Grant Disbursement Mechanism, held on 12 December at Pan Pacific Sonargaon, symbolised a united effort to elevate safety, environmental standards and economic prosperity within Bangladesh's RMG sector, said a press release.

The Programme to Finance Safety Retrofits & Environmental Upgrades in the Bangladeshi Readymade Garment (RMG) Sector (SREUP) takes a groundbreaking approach by offering low-cost loans and incentive grants through financial institutions.

SREUP is designed to strengthen the economic sustainability of the RMG sector through a Euro 50 million credit facility (AFD) and Euro 14.29 million grant (EU, KfW, GIZ & BB).

The project, implemented by Bangladesh Bank, aims at providing financial and technical support for Safety Retrofits and Environmental and Social upgradation in RMG export oriented companies. The SREUP PMU, Bangladesh Bank, hosted this ceremony.

The event commenced with an inaugural address by Nawshad Mustafa,  Deputy Project Director of SREUP, Bangladesh Bank, followed by remarks from Rafiul Islam Project Manager, AFD Dhaka Office, Mr. Michal Sumser, Country Director, KfW Dhaka Office, Edwin Koekkoek, Team Leader, Green Inclusive Development & Social Protection, EU, and Amin Sharif, Senior Assistant Secretary, Financial Institution Division (FID). The Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank Md. Kabir Ahmed was Chief Guest and Moni Shankar Kundu, Project Director, was the chair. Each donor organisation emphasised their commitment towards pre-finance support especially after post COVID-19 and Rana Plaza tragedy boosting up sustainable economic growth of RMG sector.

Md. Kabir Ahmed emphasised the goal of achieving inclusive sustainable growth in the RMG sector through safety, environmental, and social upgrades.

Edwin Koekkoek said, "Our initiative reflects the Total Team Europe commitment to collective action for common goals. Addressing safety and environmental concerns in the RMG sector requires a holistic, collaborative effort, and we've partnered with organizations like AFD and KfW to implement sustainable solutions."

Valmont Sweaters, Tarasima Apparels Ltd., 4A Yarn Dyeing Ltd., and Ananta Garments Ltd. were awarded performance grants along with participatory financial institution Bank Asia Pvt. Ltd., IPDC Finance Ltd., City Bank Limited, and IDLC Finance Ltd.

The technical workshop explain the idea of accessing performance grant, mechanism and due diligence requirements to access performance grants to the participatory financial institutions (PFIs) and RMG factories.  Participants expressed expectations that the green financing pre-finance incentive grant fund could be transformative, strengthening the RMG sector's capacity for continued sustainability in the global market. The event ended with a vote of thanks from the chair.