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Dhaka Tribune

SCB executes first Rupee-Taka transaction for Unilever

This will enable UBL to enjoy greater operational flexibility, while simultaneously aiding in brand enhancement and growth efforts

Update : 23 Apr 2024, 05:04 PM

Standard Chartered Bangladesh recently arranged the first Indian Rupee (INR) denominated trade transaction for multinational fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL).

This achievement is the first cross-border import transaction to have been settled in each nation’s respective local currencies, by Standard Chartered Bangladesh.

The bank remains committed to opening new avenues for currency diversification; pioneering efficient solutions; and fostering growth opportunities for clients. 

This milestone import transaction empowers Unilever Bangladesh Limited to offer Indian Rupee payment options to the organization’s India-based suppliers.

This will enable UBL to enjoy greater operational flexibility, while simultaneously aiding in brand enhancement and growth efforts.

Access to direct invoicing facilities in INR also results in reduced costs and savings.

Standard Chartered’s global network and regional strength makes it possible for the bank to offer seamless BDT-INR transactions and trade capabilities – accelerating bilateral trade between the two countries. 

Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO, Standard Chartered Bangladesh, said: “The Indian Rupee holds great promise for exporters and importers, and we are pleased to be able to work towards building depth in the INR market with two-way trades. The market size of consumer goods in Bangladesh is approximately $3.6 billion with an annual growth rate of 9%. So, the successful execution of this INR-BDT import transaction sets a precedent for other companies – driving collective progress and advancement across one of our nation’s most promising sectors. We are pleased to complete our maiden INR import transaction with Unilever Bangladesh, a trusted partner in our endeavours to further economic progress, sustainability, and social empowerment.”

Zaved Akhtar, chairman and managing director, Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL), said: “In the recent past, the country has faced economic volatility due to external factors like global conflicts and supply chain disruptions, which resulted in shortfall of USD impacting our reserves. Last year, the Bangladesh Government started bilateral discussions with India and opened the option of Letters of Credit in Rupee as an alternative. I am happy that Unilever Bangladesh Limited and Standard Chartered Bangladesh have been one of the pioneers to support this activity by initiating INR transactions. This will not only reduce the reliance on the dollar but also alleviate the pressure on Bangladesh's forex reserves. Through innovative macroeconomic strategies and partnerships like ours, the private sector will be able to support Bangladesh's long-term economic growth.”

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