Bangladesh’s Ananta Apparels Limited, a unit of the Ananta Group, has sought Bangladesh Bank’s approval to invest $8 mn in Ethiopia to set-up an apparel factory there. The company submitted its proposal recently to the central bank claiming it wants to benefit from the tax benefits in the African nation along with duty-free access to the United States.

The company intends to invest $8 mn in Ethiopia from its own fund and if any additional fund is required, it would be taken from other multinational financial institutions like the International Finance Corporation, it said. Bangladesh Bank, however, has expressed its doubts about the viability of the plan, according to a report. The Central Bank officials have forwarded the proposal to the Finance Ministry, which is authorised to give permission to such proposals. A cabinet committee usually takes the final decision.

Seven companies have so far got government approval to invest abroad including the highest approval for $20 mn to Akij Jute Mills, a concern of Akij Group, for procuring two Malaysian companies — Robin Resources Malaysia SDN BHD and its subsidiary Robina Flooring SDN BHD. The Ananta Group feels Bangladeshi products would face high taxation when the country would be graduated to the status of a developing nation. Established in 1992, Ananta Apparels supply products to global brands like H&M, Zara, Gap, Levi’s and Marks & Spencer.