Dubai, February 10, 2003—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World
Bank Group, has signed agreements to invest US$12 million in R.A.K. Ceramics
(Bangladesh) Pvt. Ltd. (RAK-Bangladesh) to help expand its existing ceramic
tiles capacity and establish a sanitary ware plant. The agreements were
signed in Dubai by Mr. Assaad Jabre, IFC Vice President for Operations.
The $24.7 million project will help meet domestic demand and build on Bangladesh’s
advantages, such as, the competitive cost of labor, raw materials, and
natural gas. It will also address the need in Bangladesh for high quality
affordable tiles and sanitary ware. IFC’s involvement fits with its long-term
goal of helping Bangladesh build a strong manufacturing base as a key factor
in the country’s economic growth and will also help attract additional
private sector investment.
With an existing annual production capacity of two million square meters
of ceramic tiles, RAK-Bangladesh is the only company in the country with
state-of-the-art technology and the ability to produce high quality tiles.
The company’s main shareholder is Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics of the United
Arab Emirates (RAK-UAE), one of the largest and most successful ceramic
tiles and sanitary ware manufacturers in the world.
“The project will help establish RAK-Bangladesh as a world-class competitor”
said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Director for SouthAsia. “In addition to
promoting the use of locally available raw materials and natural gas, it
will encourage the establishment of new downstream industries in Bangladesh,
such as, clay mining and transportation. The project will also create approximately
400 direct jobs as well as additional jobs in related sectors that will
support the company’s operations.”
IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing
countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances
private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in
the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance
and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956, IFC
has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion
in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s
worldwide committed portfolio at the end of FY02 was $15.1 billion for
its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.