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Bangladesh-Saudi Arabia relationship sees a 'new chapter'

  • Published at 01:29 pm March 7th, 2019
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Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, prime minister's Industry and Investment Advisor Salman F Rahman and Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Abulkalam Abdul Momen along with two top Saudi Arabian ministers at a plenary session of the joint ministerial level meeting with Saudi Arabia held at a city hotel on Thursday, March 7, 2019 Focus Bangla

He furthered that his country is serious about enhancing business ties with Bangladesh

The relationship between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia has begun a "new chapter" through Saudi Arabia's presence in Bangladesh, to find wider investment opportunities. 

Saudi Arabian Commerce and Investment Minister Dr Majed Bin Abdullah Al Kassabi commented this while addressing a plenary session of the joint ministerial level meeting with Bangladesh, on investment, held at a city hotel on Thursday.

The Saudi Arabian minister said his country is serious about enhancing business ties with Bangladesh.

"We are here to support," he said. "We are here to: work, identify possibilities, listen, and open the doors for dialogue between the two countries."

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and the prime minister's Industry and Investment Advisor Salman F Rahman, also spoke at the occasion.

Kazi M Aminul Islam, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida), was also present during the session.

Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have been holding discussions, as the oil-rich kingdom is keen to invest in infrastructure and the energy sector.

A large delegation comprising two top Saudi Arabian ministers—Kassabi and Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Bin Mayzad Al-Twaijri—arrived on Wednesday night by a special flight, to discuss investment issues.

Senior officials of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, Saudi Fund for Development, and top officials of Saudi companies were among the 35-member delegation, according to the Foreign Affairs ministry. 

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is leading the Bangladeshi side at the Bangladesh-Saudi Arabia bilateral meetings.

The Saudi Arabian delegation members are also expected to meet President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, before leaving Dhaka on Thursday night.

On Tuesday, the foreign minister said, he hoped the high-profile Saudi Arabian delegation will come up with a big investment package during the visit. 

"We will let them know about potential areas of investment," he said. "The outcome will be good, I believe."

Recently, the relations between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have reached a new height, with the prime minister completing four consecutive successful visits to Saudi Arabia in the last three years, officials said.

During her visits, the countries identified that: despite having huge potential, the two countries lag in exploring opportunities to cooperate in the field of trade and investment, the officials added.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Saudi Arabia in October last year with the aim of expanding cooperation in the investment field.

During the same visit, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia signed five Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), to enhance cooperation in the chemical, steel, and solar power sectors between the two countries. 

The MoUs were inked, after Sheikh Hasina's meeting with the Saudi business community, including leaders of the Council of Saudi Chamber and Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, at King Saud Palace.