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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

IFC to provide $15m to PRAN Group for three-yr project

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, will provide finance worth $15 million to local agro processing company PRAN Group for a three-year project ending in 2011.

This was disclosed by Pran Group at a press conference held at the National Press Club in the city Tuesday.

Major General Amjad Khan Chowdhury (Retd), chief executive of PRAN Group, Uzma Chowdhury, director of PRAN Group, Eleash Mridha, executive director of PRAN Group, Per Kjellerhaug, regional manager for IFC-Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and Mrinal Kanti Sircar, programme manager of IFC, were present, among others, at the press conference.

PRAN officials said through this financing, it is for the first time the IFC has entered into any agro-business sector of Bangladesh.

The loan will support PRAN Group's strategic investment plan over the next three years, in six food categories such as snacks, confectionery, juice, beverage, culinary products, dairy and premium rice. This will help the company become more efficient and competitive in domestic and foreign markets, PRAN officials claimed at the news conference.

"PRAN Group aims to make high-quality, low-cost, processed and packaged food readily available to the lower- and middle-income population of Bangladesh and other countries it serves, said Maj Gen Amjad Khan Chowdhury (Retd)."

He also said with IFC as a partner, his company will continue to seek the highest standards in operations, and these efforts will boost Bangladesh's entire agribusiness sector.

"One of IFC's main priorities in the region is to support local companies in priority sectors such as food processing, particularly those with significant benefits to local suppliers and employment," said Per Kjellerhaug.

Oscar Chemerinski, IFC director for Global Agribusiness, in a separate statement, said "IFC is proud to be making its first investment in the critically important agribusiness sector in Bangladesh. We are excited to support a highly regarded company like PRAN Group to further serve the local market and expand in the global arena."

The Financial express



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