The Export Readiness Fund (ERF)
Export diversification is a key priority for the Government of Bangladesh in order to continue to deliver accelerated growth, sustainable development and increased job creation for the country. In line with this objective, the Ministry of Commerce, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is implementing the Export Competitiveness for Jobs (EC4J) Project, supported by the World Bank.
The Export Readiness Fund (ERF) is a US$17.5 million(US$ 7.5 million has been added additionally recently for COVID 19 Enterprise Response Fund) matching-grant programme of the EC4J Project that provides financial support under three funding windows to eligible Bangladeshi firms in four targeted sectors to identify gaps, catalyse investment and improve Environmental, Social and Quality (ESQ) standards in efforts to enhance their competitiveness in the export markets.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a fourth funding window called the COVID-19 Enterprise Response Fund (CERF)is now open from 18 April 2021 to support Bangladeshi businesses to repurpose and pivot their operations and build resilience in an ever-changing economic environment.
The total grant amount for W4 is US$ 7.5 million. Under the CERF, ERF will contribute to supporting the private sector by providing a maximum of 60% grant support to SMEs and 50% to Large Enterprise. The maximum amount of matching grant is of up-to US$500,000 and minimum is US$50,000 to private enterprises to procure plant, equipment, materials and know-how for rapid repurposing of capacity to produce Medical and Personal Protective Equipment (MPPE) products on a sustainable basis.
The ERF was launched on 5 January 2020 and will operateover a period of three (3) years.