French football star Zinedine Zidane is set to visit Bangladesh next month at the invitation of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus to open a new food manufacturing project.
The World Cup Golden Boot winner will be in the country from November 7-8 to unveil the Grameen Danone Food Factory, a joint venture between Grameen Bank and French food giant Danone, the bank's general manager Nurjahan Begum said.
Danone and Grameen Bank have a 50 per cent stake each in the one million US dollar plant being set up in the northern city of Bogra. The project is aimed at producing food products targetted at millions of low-income people.
The partnership is also aimed at eventually setting up 50 factories in rural areas of Bangladesh with a total investment of at least 50 million US dollars.
Yunus, who pioneered the bank's system of micro-credit as a route out of poverty, won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with his bank for helping millions escape the poverty trap through a system of small-scale loans.
The 66-year-old economics professor from Chittagong set up Grameen Bank in 1976, which now has some 6.5 million borrowers, most of them women.
Danone is the world's biggest producer of fresh dairy products and bottled water with total sales of around 16 billion US dollars in 2005.