Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh sign cooperation deals, form joint business council
Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh signed cooperation agreements and established a joint business council on Saturday during a visit by the Kingdom’s Commerce Minister, Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, to Dhaka.
Al-Qasabi and a delegation of officials and business leaders arrived in the Bangladeshi capital on Friday.
The delegation is attending the Bangladesh Business Summit 2023, an international trade and investment promotion event hosted by the Bangladeshi government, and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the country’s apex commerce body.
“We have explored a lot of areas of investment, especially in power, agriculture and logistics,” Al-Qasabi told reporters at the summit’s venue.
“Through this visit, we exchange opportunities and ideas, and enhance communication. Our bilateral trade is around $970 million, which is not to the level that our people want and our leaders want. It’s the objective of this trip to enhance this target.”
The minister said the two sides were also finalizing a deal that will allow Saudi energy developer ACWA Power to invest in Bangladesh.
“This is an almost $3 billion deal. It will employ more than 5,000 people. It’s a great investment.”
Bangladeshi Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that meetings with the Saudi delegation on Saturday covered investment opportunities in the South Asian country.
“Business leaders from Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia will work together in this regard. If we can attract the market, they will come here,” he said.
“We trust to move together a long way. A lot of our priorities have been identified.”
During Bangladesh Business Summit sessions, the Saudi and Bangladeshi chambers of commerce established a joint council to develop bilateral business ties.
“We have signed the formation agreement of the Saudi-Bangladesh Business Council,” FBCCI President Mohammed Jashim Uddin told Arab News on the summit’s sidelines.
“Within the next three to four days, we will send a list of members from the Bangladesh side. They will also do the same. We can say from now on, it’s operational.”
The Saudi delegation also signed agreements with Bangladeshi authorities to set up a fertilizer factory and agro-processing plant, as well as a deal on cooperation between the operator of the Kingdom’s new flagship container terminal in Jeddah, the Red Sea Gateway Terminal, and Chattogram Port, the main seaport of Bangladesh.
“A framework has been signed on mutual cooperation of the development, logistics and operational management. RSGT will provide equipment, human resources and an IT system for the operation of the port,” Mohammed Rafiqul Islam Khan, joint secretary at the Ministry of Shipping, told Arab News.
“Both parties will now try to reach a definitive agreement by June.”