Salman F Rahman seeks Saudi Arabia’s investment in various projects
Bangladesh has sought duty-free access for 137 products to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Private Sector Industry and Investment Advisor Salman F Rahman has said.
Rahman was speaking to reporters on arriving back in Dhaka at 12:50pm on Saturday following an eight-day visit to the Middle Eastern country with a high-level 22-member Bangladeshi delegation.
Rahman, who is also a lawmaker, told reporters that he had a virtual meeting with Saudi Commerce Minister Dr Majid bin Abdullah Alkassabi during his visit.
At the meeting, he said, he had urged the minister to provide duty-free entry for 137 products from Bangladesh into the Saudi market.
Besides, Rahman said he also requested Dr Alkassabi to expedite trade activities by reviewing various relevant memorandums of understating signed between the two countries during the visit of the Saudi commerce and finance ministers to Bangladesh in 2018.
He also proposed forming a working committee to take effective action on all of the MoUs.
Dr Alkassabi also responded positively when he requested the minister to invest in Bangladesh under the Saudi Public Investment Fund, Rahman added.
The prime minister’s adviser also held a meeting with Saudi Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih.
During the meeting, Rahman described the steps taken by the Bangladesh government to attract foreign investment, and proposed to set up a special economic zone exclusively for Saudi investors as promised by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Rahman also requested that a draft of an MOU — aimed at creating opportunities for Saudi investment in Bangladeshi public-private partnerships — be finalized.
“The signing of the MoU will expand opportunities for Saudi investment in various sectors, including infrastructure in Bangladesh,” he hoped.
The Saudi investment minister had replied that the MoU draft was in its final stages, and hoped that it would be signed soon.
Rahman then emphasized the importance of exchanging delegations between the businessmen of the two countries and requested the Saudi investment minister to attend the International Investment Summit to be held in Bangladesh on November 28 and 29. Minister Khalid al-Falih gladly accepted the invitation.
During his Saudi visit, the prime minister’s investment adviser also met with Saudi Transport Minister Saleh Al-Jasser and requested investment in the Dhaka-Payra rail link project.
Rahman also held a meeting with the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce. He assured the chamber that Bangladesh was committed to ensuring all kinds of cooperation on a priority basis for Saudi investors.
He said that there was immense potential for increasing bilateral trade and investment between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh.
He also mentioned that Bangladesh’s current trade volume with Saudi Arabia was $1.3 billion and stressed the need to increase the volume.