The prime minister's Private Industry and Investment adviser proposed setting up a special economic zone for Saudi investors
Saudi Arabian Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih on Sunday said there is potential for more Saudi investment in Bangladesh due to the latter’s investment-friendly climate.
The Saudi minister made the remark during a meeting with Salman F Rahman, visiting Private Industry and Investment adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
During the meeting, Salman F Rahman apprised the Saudi minister of the steps taken by the current government to attract foreign investment, read a press release.
He also proposed to set up a special economic zone for Saudi investors, as committed to by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Saudi investment minister welcomed Bangladesh's proposal. The adviser also requested that the minister finalize a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at creating opportunities for Saudi investment under public-private partnerships.
Al-Falih informed the advisor that the draft MoU is in its final phase and he hoped it would be signed soon.
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Attaching high importance to exchanging business delegations between the two countries, Adviser Rahman invited the Saudi minister to attend the International Investment Summit to be held in Bangladesh on November 28 and 29. The invitation was cordially accepted by the minister.
Earlier on Monday, Advisor Rahman called on Saudi Transport Minister Saleh Al-Jasser, added the statement. At the meeting, he appealed for Saudi investment in the construction of the rail track from Dhaka to Payra seaport.
At that time, the Saudi transport minister assured him of all possible cooperation from his ministry.
Salman F Rahman also held a meeting with a delegation from the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce on Monday.
Saudi-Bangladesh relations have reached new heights since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's official visit to Saudi Arabia in 2016, he observed during the event.
He said Bangladesh is committed to ensuring all sort of cooperation for Saudi investors on a priority basis, added the statement.
The advisor mentioned that there is immense scope for increasing bilateral trade between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, as well as investment. Bangladesh currently has a trade volume of 1.3 billion dollars with Saudi Arabia.
Noting that Bangladesh has a huge domestic market, Salman F Rahman said Bangladesh is still enjoying the GSP privileges in the European market, which is allowing Bangladesh to have an edge in export earnings.
The adviser emphasized the importance of bilateral visits and meetings between the two countries' chamber officials to enhance mutual cooperation. He requested that Saudi Arabia increase collaboration with small and medium enterprises in Bangladesh.
In addition, the Saudi Federation of Chambers expressed interest in the advisor’s proposal for amending the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries' chambers of commerce in 2005 to make it more convenient.
Bangladesh ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr Mohammad Jabed Patwari BPM (Bar) was present at Adviser Salman F Rahman’s meetings.
Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, Shaikh Yusuf Harun, executive chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, and Sultana Afroza, chief executive officer (secretary) of Public Private Partnership Authority Bangladesh, among others, were also present. Business representatives from Bangladesh also attended the meeting with the Saudi Chamber of Commerce.