British International Investment
7 July 2022

British International Investment backs RFL Electronics Limited with $23 million investment to enhance local manufacturing capabilities

  • Facility will enhance home appliance manufacturing in Bangladesh
  • Investment marks BII’s first 2X Challenge-qualified facility in Bangladesh
  • Investment aligns with the UN SDG 8.5 by enabling economic opportunities through direct job creation.

British International Investment (“BII”), the UK’s development finance institution, has announced a $23 million loan to RFL Electronics Ltd (“REL”), a consumer electronics manufacturer based in Bangladesh and part of the PRAN-RFL group. The new loan facility will enable REL to expand its electronic home appliance production, which will help create at least 600 new jobs.

BII’s capital will fund the import of capital machinery required to facilitate REL’s expanded operations in its new factory building in Danga Industrial Park, where the company will increase its refrigerator manufacturing capacity and assembly of small appliances such as rice cookers and blenders. This expansion of the business will help to create at least 600 jobs, 40 per cent of which are expected to be semi-skilled workers.

The loan marks BII’s first 2X Challenge investment in Bangladesh, owing to the company’s women leadership at its board level and its initiative to advance quality employment opportunities for women within REL’s workforce. 2X Challenge is an initiative launched by development finance institutions (DFIs) of the G7 to mobilise capital to support increased economic empowerment for women in emerging economies.

This loan facility follows BII’s initial US$ 15 million investment in REL, in 2018, which supported the company in setting up its manufacturing and assembly operations.

M. Rehan Rashid Country Director, Bangladesh at British International Investment, commented: “I am thrilled that we are deepening our partnership with PRAN-RFL group through this loan. This latest investment in REL demonstrates BII’s commitment to continuing to back the growth of an ambitious partner that is making strong strides toward accelerating productivity in the country and creating inclusive economic opportunities in form of jobs for women and semi-skilled. I am excited that our team at BII will continue to work with REL as it grows to embed and strengthen the company’s Environmental and Social (E&S) strategy, internal risk controls and gender initiatives.”

Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, Chief Executive Officer at PRAN-RFL Group, commented: “The facility will help boost local manufacturing and cater to the increasing demand for electronics products from the fast-growing and urbanising middle-income segment in Bangladesh. We thank BII for their investment and look forward to their continued support for PRAN-RFL group’s future growth endeavours.”

British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Robert Chatterton Dickson, said: “I am delighted that British International Investment is more than doubling its investment in PRAN-RFL, one of Bangladesh’s leading conglomerates. I am especially pleased that the investment recognises PRAN-RFL’s efforts to increase women’s employment. BII is central to the UK’s new international development strategy and it is delivering honest and reliable investment that creates jobs and supports economic development in Bangladesh.”

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