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Sunday, July 18, 2010
Business

Walton to export refrigerators to US

RB Group, an electronics maker, has moved to export refrigerators and other items to the US.

“We have already registered a window office in the US to market our products,” RB Corporate Communications Director Mizanur Rahman told the news agency yesterday.

RB Group, which produces electronic goods and motorcycles under the Walton brand, has been exporting refrigerators, motorcycles, and other electronic items to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and some countries in the Middle East for a couple of years now.

"We are now busy acquiring the documents related to standard and quality, a pre-requisite to entering the US market."

If successful, Walton will be the first Bangladeshi electronics maker to enter the US. “As soon as we get the documents, we will instruct our US counterpart to open L/C for import,” he added.

"We expect to export to Europe also."

The group also signed initial agreements with traders in Japan. Walton Hi-tech Industries, the group's manufacturing unit, now produces about six lakh refrigerators against a demand for four lakh in Bangladesh. About 2,500 workers are engaged in the manufacturing plant set up on 50 acres.

"After the global meltdown, many manufacturing plants in developed countries were forced to shut down. These countries now look for imports from developing countries."

Walton now offers a 10-CFT refrigerator at Tk 20,700, while a similar-sized import ranges between Tk 30,000 and Tk 33,000. It plans to produce LCD monitors and computers as well.

"We can offer goods at cheaper prices if we get policy support and incentives," he said.

Under the existing policy, he said, it is easier to import a refrigerator than making it locally. "The import duty on raw materials is higher than the duty on a finished one."

Presently, Walton retails refrigerators in 12 variants through its 600 outlets and dealers throughout the country.

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