Danish conglomerate Maersk is set to introduce trade finance services in Bangladesh to make capital available for its customers in Bangladesh, officials have said.
The digital trade finance solution of Maersk Group, the world's largest container shipping company, is available as working capital for the traders in a number of countries worldwide.
The funding facility is already being provided in many countries in the form of pre-shipment export finance, in-transit export finance, export finance (non-recourse), import finance (advance payment), in-transit import finance, and importer credit-payables finance (supplier early payment).
"…we also intend to introduce our trade finance services to our customers in Bangladesh, thus integrating financial services as well within our logistics services," Steve Felder, A P Moller-Maersk's managing director for South Asia told the FE in an e-mail communication.
"We are in the process of finalising all the plans on trade finance (in Bangladesh)," he said.
The service is now available for its customers in Singapore, United Arab Emirates, India, Spain, the Netherlands, South Africa, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and various states in the United States of America.
Under the pre-shipment export financing product, the Maersk trade finance pays advance funds to traders or their vendors to purchase finished goods or raw materials, and fulfil verified orders from overseas importers.
Its export finance is a working capital solution that provides the traders with funding up to 80 per cent of their invoice value as well as with the protection against the overseas importer's financial inability to pay.
In case of import finance, Maersk's trade finance provides loans to importers to pay their overseas exporters. Funds can be advanced up-front against a specific timeline for the production and shipment of finished goods agreed by you and your exporter.
Its importer credit solution allows importers to extend longer payment terms for their overseas suppliers. When due, Maersk trade finance will collect the full invoice amount from the importer.
"Maersk has already been a highly engaged logistics partner in Bangladesh for some time now. By offering its global products and services also in the Bangladesh market, Maersk is truly the leading provider of integrated logistics services in the country," Mr. Felder said.
He said Maersk's current services and aspirations in this rapidly growing market strongly complement the government's ambitions in trade growth.
"We are committed to grow along with the market growth, both in terms of scale and scope, by proving an increasingly wider range of logistics services," he said.
"This is good news for the exporters and importers in Bangladesh as they will be able to avail of the increasing service levels offered by Maersk. We will also continue to introduce more flexible and agile pricing mechanisms to enable exporters to have the most up-to-date pricing facilities," he noted.
Mr. Felder said Maersk will widen its digital capabilities in Bangladesh this year.
"At Maersk, we believe that an effective logistics sector is an essential part of an effective and efficient economy and contributes significantly to the economic growth of the country," he said.
He also said that the logistics industry and attendant infrastructure grow consistently over past years in Bangladesh, but there still remains a real imperative for the growth in infrastructure to match the trade growth, both in terms of physical infrastructure and regulatory environment.
"We believe that more focus must be applied to the country's digital capabilities and in this regard we believe that we can contribute significantly through our TradeLens product," he added.