KSA FM due to come to Dhaka on March 16

Investment proposals valued at several billion US dollars in pipeline

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is en route to pumping billions of dollars in different projects in Bangladesh, as the Middle Eastern country considers it a lucrative investment destination

“Saudi Arabia sees Bangladesh as a lucrative investment destination as the country, gifted with a favourable geographical position, has witnessed spectacular economic development over the last 50 years,” said  Essa Yousef Alduhailan, the Saudi ambassador to Bangladesh, while talking to selected journalists at his residence recently.

Both countries are working relentlessly ahead of KSA Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud’s visit to Bangladesh on March 16.

The ministry may visit Bangladesh on March 16-17 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, sources said.

Saud is also expected to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Home Minister Asaduzzman Khan Kamal, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmad, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun and Prime Minister’s Private Sector Adviser Salman F Rahman.

The visit of the KSA foreign minister is important as both countries will sign some investment proposals, involving several energy sector projects worth billions. 

Their implementation is only a matter of time, the Saudi envoy also said.

Calling Bangladesh an important development partner of KSA, Essa Yousef Alduhailan said Saudi companies are showing deep interest in investing in Bangladesh.

He sought sincere cooperation of different stakeholders of the government to help materialize the Saudi projects.

It is to be noted here that Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) will give some 300 acres of land to Saudi investors in Mirsarai Economic Zone in Chittagong.

He also said that Saudi Arabia has sent a proposal to the government of Bangladesh in setting up international standard Arabic Language Institutes across the country.

During the month of January earlier this year, Bangladesh sent 71,172 workers to KSA (64.88% of total manpower export), out of 109,698 workers sent to different countries, according to data from the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET).

Lauding the government steps in introducing e-passports, the KSA envoy has expressed the hope that the Bangladesh government in phases will bring 2.3 million Bangladeshis living in KSA under this e-passport project. The total introduction of e-passport will also help solve the problems of illegal migrants.

Saudi Arabia seems to consider itself ready to become the new tourism force of the region.

They have planned $810 billion of investments in culture, leisure and entertainment projects over the next decade.

This strategy has already significantly enhanced the country's attractiveness as a tourist destination.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the Kingdom is expected to reach 22.1 million in international arrivals by 2025, which would be nearly 40% higher than Dubai's current visitors.

Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco and ACWA Power on October 18, 2019 signed a deal with Bangladesh on Thursday to develop a 3,600-megawatt LNG-based power plant and terminal in the country.

As part of the deal, the Saudi companies will invest around $3 billion, the Bangladesh government said at a signing ceremony.

Bangladesh prime minister’s investment adviser Salman F Rahman said that the agreement “represented one of the largest deals in Bangladesh’s lucrative power sector” and reflected confidence in the country’s “investment-friendly environment.”

ACWA chairman Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan said his company would make the direct investment by next year. He described the project as a “landmark” that would be the company’s largest gas-to-power development and its first association with Aramco in such a project.

The plant and terminal are set to be built in either the Moheshkhali area of Cox’s Bazar or the port of Payra.