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Swedfund, H&M and DBL Group create 4,000 jobs in Ethiopia

Press Release   •   May 26, 2016 12:30 GMT

Signing at the Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa with Fredrik Wijkander, Director of Investment Operations Swedfund and Mr M.A. Rahim, Vice President of DBL Group.

The development financier Swedfund and the industry group DBL establish a textile factory in Mekelle, Ethiopia, which will provide job opportunities for 4,000 people.
H&M will be a long time buyer and support with expert knowledge in sustainable textile production.
”The factory will be a long-term sustainable industrial plant in every aspect and will be an important step for developing the textile industry in Ethiopia”, says Anna Ryott, Managing Director at Swedfund.

The loan agreement between Swedfund and DBL was signed at the Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa on Wednesday. DBL Group, Swedfund and Development Bank of Ethiopia will in accordance with the agreement invest in a textile factory which H&M commits to buy products from during a certain number of years.

Decent working conditions, job creation for women and environmental considerations are some of the most important goals with the project pushing one of Ethiopia’s prioritized industry sectors forward. The requirements on this individual factory are in line with the strict requirements H&M’s suppliers always have to follow. The whole producing process will be accommodated in the factory, which at full capacity will employ around 4,000 people.

The collaboration project also involves local and international partners, in order to enhance the know-how around sustainable production of ready-made garments in Ethiopia.

“We have managed to form a unique partnership in Ethiopia with deep professional knowledge in every part of the process in order to fulfill the high sustainability requirements. It is a great example of how to work to achieve efficient job creation, and in this project it is particularly focused on women. Job creation is crucial to help people find their way out of poverty and the cooperation with such a great partners like H&M and DBL will make this a role model for other similar projects”, says Anna Ryott.

DBL will through its extensive experience from the textile industry contribute with vast knowledge transfer to a fast growing industry. Swedfund contributes with knowledge from sustainable investments and will invest MUSD 15 through a loan. H&M brings expertise from large scale textile production in a sustainable way and as a long-term buyer.

”H&M is pleased that Swedfund is co-financing a project with DBL Group. H&M wants to contribute to a long-term sustainable textile industry in Ethiopia taking social as well as environmental dimensions into consideration. It is important to us that both DBL and Swedfund are putting these questions on top of their agenda when doing investments”, says Helena Helmersson, Global Head of Production at H&M.

This gives a cooperation where full focus on sustainability originates from multiple directions – from the investor, buyer and owner.

DBL Group, exporter of ready-made garment with headquarters in Bangladesh, will be the sole owner of the factory in Ethiopia.

”DBL Group is proud to be part of the development of the textile industry in Ethiopia. It is a milestone for us to build an integrated textile factory entirely focused on export. DBL will together with other partners focus on sustainability in every part of the process, including collaborations with the civil society in Mekelle and Addis Ababa. We are looking forward to a successful and long-term collaboration”, says Mr M.A Rahim, Vice President of DBL Group.


About Swedfund

Swedfund, owned by the Swedish state, provides capital, expertise and financial support for investments in the emerging markets of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Our mission is poverty reduction through sustainable business, contributing to economic and environmental development as well as a positive impact to society. Since 1979 Swedfund has been engaged as an active, responsible and long-term investor in more than 260 companies worldwide. Swedfund’s investment strategy rests on three main pillars: impact on society, sustainability and financial viability. www.swedfund.se/en

About DBL Group

DBL Group is one of the largest exporters of ready-made garments in Bangladesh amounting annual export of MUSD 350 employing more than 25,000 team members.

About H&M

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on Nasdaq Stockholm. H&M’s business idea is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, COS, Monki and Weekday as well as H&M Home. The H&M Group has more than 4,000 stores in 61 markets including franchise markets. In 2015, sales including VAT were SEK 210 billion and the number of employees is more than 148,000. For further information, visit hm.com.

For more information, please contact:
Karin Kronhöffer, Director Strategy and Communication
karin.kronhoffer@swedfund.se +46 8 725 94 38

About Swedfund

Swedfund, owned by the Swedish state, provides risk capital, expertise and financial support for investments in local companies in the developing markets of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Our mission is poverty reduction through sustainable business, contributing to economic and environmental development as well as a positive impact to society. Swedfund's investment strategy rests on three mailn pillars: impact on siciety, sustainability and financial viability. Since 1979 Swedfund has been engaged as an active, responsible and long-term investor in more than 260 companies worldwide. www.swedfund.se/en

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