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Dhaka Tribune

Salman urges Saudi Arabia for duty free access to 138 products

Bangladesh is ready to set up a special economic zone exclusively for Saudi investors with the necessary facilities

Update : 18 Sep 2021, 10:33 PM

The Prime minister's Private Sector Industry and Investment Advisor Salman F Rahman on Saturday called upon Saudi Arabia to give duty-free access to some 137 Bangladeshi products to the Saudi market.

Salman, who is now in Saudi Arabia, made the announcement at a virtual meeting with Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi.

The Prime Minister's Adviser mentioned that Saudi Arabia imports RMG, leather goods, plastic goods, frozen fish and pharmaceuticals from Bangladesh adding that Saudi Arabia could take necessary steps to import halal meat from Bangladesh and thus could minimize the trade imbalance between the two countries, said a press release.

The current bilateral trade volume between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia is $1.3 billion.

Extending greetings of the prime minister to the Saudi Badsha and Crown Prince, Salman Rahman put emphasis on more Saudi investment in Bangladesh to materialize the goal of 2041.

The prime minister’s adviser informed the Saudi commerce minister that Bangladesh is ready to set up a special economic zone exclusively for the Saudi investors with necessary facilities.

Also Read - Saudi Arabia looking to sign FTA with Bangladesh

Following a request from the adviser to invest in various mega projects of Bangladesh under the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the Saudi minister assured him they would be considering the matter. In this context, Salman sought Saudi investment for setting up Dhaka to Payra Port rail connection as well as transforming Cox's Bazar into an international standard tourism hub.

Referring to the Anti Concealment Law meant for allowing expatriates to legally do business in Saudi Arabia, Salman Rahman requested the Saudi minister to provide support to the Bangladeshi businessmen in this regard.

Following a request from the adviser, the Saudi minister assured that a Saudi delegation would visit Bangladesh at their convenience.

Saudi Minister Majid said that they attach the highest importance to the farsighted leadership and bilateral relations of the two countries.

He also assured Bangladesh of taking necessary steps for signing an MoU on Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the two countries which would open up the door for direct investment from Saudi companies to various projects of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Ambassador to KSA Dr Mohammad Javed Patwari, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Executive Chairman M Sirazul Islam, Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Executive Chairman Sheikh Yusuf Harun and the PPP Authority of Bangladesh's Chief Executive Sultana Afroz among others attended the virtual meeting.

Earlier a high-level Bangladeshi delegation, led by the prime minister’s Adviser Salman F Rahman reached Saudi Arabia on a five-day visit. During the visit, the adviser met several Saudi ministers to boost bilateral trade, attract more investment and attended various high-level meetings.

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