Pran, a leading food producer, plans to invest $10 million in a bicycle assembly plant in a bid to diversify its portfolio, an official said yesterday.
The plant, to be located in Habiganj, will comprise two assembly units: one for the domestic market and another for the export market, primarily the European Union, Kamruzzaman Kamal, marketing director of Pran-RFL Group, told The Daily Star.
The company aims to produce a variety of bicycles, ranging from BMX to mountain trekking and road bikes.
Production for the domestic market will start in March. For the export market, it may start in June.
“Bicycles as an industry have good prospects to grow both at home and abroad. Our focus is on offering quality products at reasonable prices,” BIKE Europe, a magazine on the bicycle industry, quoted Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, deputy managing director of Pran-RFL Group, as saying.
The EU trade rules allow Bangladesh and Cambodia to export bicycles, parts and accessories to the EU's 28 member states without the regular 14 percent duty on complete bicycles and 4.7 percent duty on imported parts and accessories.
In 2012, Bangladesh exported 472,000 bikes to the EU, making it Europe's fifth biggest bike supplying country, according to BIKE Europe.
Pran-RFL Group's revenues in 2012 stood at $450 million.