British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution, has announced a US$ 23 million loan to RFL Electronics Ltd, 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, said a press release.
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.
Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, Chief Executive Officer at PRAN-RFL Group, said, "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.”
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. 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.”