July 20, 2024, 1:26 am

Diplomatic correspondent

2024-06-25 09:01:05 BdST

ADB, Ananta Knitwear ink $40m deal for eco-friendly factory

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $40 million financing package with Ananta Knitwear Limited (AKL) to fund the construction of a new knit fabric factory in Narshingdi, Bangladesh.

AKL is part of the Ananta Group, a leading exporter of ready-made garments in the country.

The financing includes a $20 million loan from ADB and a $20 million syndicated B-loan from the ILX Fund, an Amsterdam-based asset manager focused on Sustainable Development Goals, with ADB serving as the lender of record.

ADB acted as the mandated lead arranger, orchestrating and syndicating the financing package, reads a press release from the ADB on Monday.

The new factory is designed to achieve platinum certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, the global benchmark for green buildings.

It will feature advanced, energy-efficient machinery and the latest technology.

The project is expected to create 200 jobs during construction and 1,000 jobs once operational.

“Bangladesh’s textile industry is a major contributor to the economy, but the breadth of its impact is much broader. It is also about livelihoods and national resilience,” said ADB Director General for Private Sector Operations Suzanne Gaboury.

“The textile industry employs millions, drives exports, and sustains families. ADB’s support will help attract much-needed financing to this strategically crucial part of the national economy.”

Ananta Group Managing Director Sharif Zahir said, “We are delighted to receive this financing from ADB and ILX. We see this as a symbol of trust from our partners and a sign to international lenders about the global quality and development impact of our industry.”

“Partnering with an internationally reputable financial institution such as ADB affirms our shared vision of quality of service, inclusivity, and sustainability. It is a significant step towards our company’s sustainable growth goals,” he said.

The Ananta Group produces a wide range of garments, including jeans, suits, sweaters, lingerie, activewear, and outerwear, generating approximately $400 million in annual revenue.

With over 30 years in business, the group employs more than 30,000 people across seven factories.

ADB, established in 1966 and owned by 68 members (49 from the region), is dedicated to creating a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while continuing its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

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