The UK’s famous motorcycle brand Royal Enfield is likely to hit Bangladesh roads if the authorities lift restrictions on the existing engine capacity limits in the country.
Sources said, Royal Enfield has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ifad Autos, which will manufacture the bike in Bangladesh.
The move, however, depends on lifting the restrictions on engine capacity of two-wheelers.
Currently, bikes of only 165cc can run in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh allowed motorcycles up to 165cc for the first time from 150cc in its Import Policy Order-2015-2018.
The commerce ministry is working on amending the law for lifting the restriction. A decision might be reached to this end after discussions with all concerned.
Three motorcycle manufacturing companies have expressed their opinions on the matter in written.
Rancon Motorbikes Limited, manufacturer of Japanese brand Suzuki, and Runner Automobiles said they want withdrawal of existing CC (cubic-centimeter) limit.
Runner said they have approval to manufacture bikes up to 350cc and they have started to import 200cc bikes.
Another Japanese brand Kawasaki on 5 December sent a letter to commerce ministry saying that they want to expand their business in Bangladesh and urged the ministry to increase the cap to 250cc.
Hero, on the other hand, expressed their reservation on the decision. HMCL Niloy Bangladesh Limited, the manufacturer of the brand, thinks that Bangladesh is not yet prepared for high engine capacity bikes.
A source said, Bangladesh Motorcycle Assemblers and Manufacturers Association (BMAMA) wants the existing CC limit to remain there until 2025.
A senior official of Ifad Autos told Prothom Alo that, they would bring Royal Enfield to local market in next May if the restriction is lifted within March.
He said they want to set up the factory in either Chattogram’s Mirsarai or Mymensingh’s Bhaluka.
IFAD has leased 30 acres land in Mirsarai Bangabandhu EPZ, he added.