Dhaka, Bangladesh
KSA keen to invest in energy, manpower, telecom sectors

KSA keen to invest in energy, manpower, telecom sectors

News Report Saudi Arabia is keen to invest in a number of sectors in Bangladesh including manpower, energy and in telecommunications. He informed that the Saudi side has agreed to invest in a number of projects and A couple of MoUs would be finalized soon in this regard, said Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed. He said this after the two-day 13th Joint Commission (JC) meeting between Bangladesh and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) ended Thursday with a strong commitment to further strengthen the existing bilateral relations alongside boosting cooperation in a wide range of areas. The JC meeting also discussed about the high investment potentials from large Saudi companies as Bangladesh assured them to provide all necessary support in this regard. Monowar Ahmed led the Bangladesh delegation while Deputy Minister for International Affairs of the Ministry of Labor and Social development of Saudi Arabia Mahir Abdul Rahman Gassim led the Saudi delegation. Organised by the ERD, high-level officials from the respective ministries, divisions and agencies of both the countries participated in different sessions of the JC held in a cordial atmosphere upholding the friendship and mutual long lasting relationship at the core. After the conclusion of the JC, the ERD Secretary and the Saudi Deputy Minister signed the agreement at the NEC Conference Room in Dhaka on Thursday and later spoke at the concluding ceremony. Monowar said the JC has taken the bilateral relationship into a new height adding, “This is the beginning of our new era of friendship and cooperation.” He informed that the Saudi side has agreed to invest in a number of projects and a couple of MoUs would be finalized soon in this regard. Saudi Deputy Minister Gassim said his country is looking forward to take this bilateral relationship into a much higher stage. During the meeting, both the delegations exchanged information on latest social and economic progress of the two countries, reviewed the outcome of cooperation between Bangladesh and the Saudi Arabia. According to a statement of ERD, the Saudi side expressed their willingness to learn about Bangladeshi experiences in microfinance, regulations, circulars and the knowledge in this regard. Bangladesh Bank (BB) also agreed to share their experience and knowledge in this regard. Bangladesh side requested Saudi side to meet MRA and PKSF directly for specific issues regarding microfinance. The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) agreed to provide the details information on new investment opportunities and possible future projects to the Saudi side. Saudi Investor companies (ACWA Power, ARAMCO, Al-Bawany, Al Jomiah, Engineering Dimension, Red Sea Gate Way Terminal, Honey and Health) under council of Saudi Chambers discussed different issues related to Saudi Investment in Bangladesh. Both sides discussed about the allotted land of 1,000 acres by BEZA on a lease for Al-Bawani. Al-Bawani group agreed to conduct a feasibility study to assess the suitability of the potential site. Saudi-side agreed to take up with the Saudi companies to expedite the implementation of the project with GEMCO (a government enterprise under BSEC) while Bangladesh-side assured all support to the Saudi investor including extending maximum facilities available to the foreign investor under the Foreign Investment Policy of the country. A proposal of about one billion USD for the Telecommunications infrastructure development (4G and 5G) by Teletalk Bangladesh Limited has been discussed with Al-Jomiah Group and both sides agreed to work further on the opportunities on priority basis. Engineering Dimension of the KSA and BFIDC of the country agreed under strategic partnership for manufacturing and marketing of 100 percent export-oriented furniture plant and wood processing plant in Bangladesh. Bangladesh side requested to withdraw a temporary ban of aquaculture and meat products, imported from Bangladesh to KSA, as Bangladesh updated OIE’s WAHIS interface. Both sides expressed their willingness to recruit Bangladeshi medical staff to work in KSA. Both parties have agreed to prepare an executive programme to initiate the process of recruitment of medical consultants, nurses and midwives to work in the KSA according to the classification of Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS). In the field of Cooperation for Foreign, Interior and Judicial Affairs, both sides agreed to work further on expediting the issuance of passports, working visa and other relevant travel documents. The Saudi side also showed their interest on working with The Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment and Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) regarding the manpower related issues. Both sides discussed about the signing MoU between Bangladesh Foreign Service Academy (BFSA) and Prince Saud Al Faisal Institution for Diplomatic Studies (PSAFIDS) for close cooperation and exchange programmes and agreed to expedite the process. Both sides agreed to cooperate further to work together on cooperation in the judicial field between the two countries as well as in the field of drug control, fraud, forgery, and counterfeiting crimes, and update new information to maintain peace and harmony in both countries. The Bangladeshi side handed over the proposals related to three issues–problem regarding online submission of death compensation cases of a traffic accident in the website of Ministry of Justice of the KSA, the problem regarding issuing cheques of death compensation in the names of the heirs of the deceased from the Execution Court and problems regarding submission cases in execution court– to the Saudi delegation and they assured to take necessary measures on the issues as soon as possible. Both sides discussed the importance of diversification of mutual commercial products between the two countries. The Saudi side expressed to strengthen the cooperation between the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and the Central Bank of Bangladesh. Both sides discussed the mutual benefits of promoting the Saudi Export Programme’s (SEP) financing facilities to the beneficiaries of the Bangladeshi business sector and also discussed about organizing joint events. The statement said, both sides agreed to work together to abide by the rules and regulations of customs authority of both the countries regarding consignments including the country of origin, packaging of products, providing information on the package and other relevant issues. The Saudi side welcomed cooperating with Bangladesh on the exchange of tourism experts, professionals, tour operators, and travel writers through joining conferences and events related to tourism in the two countries. Bangladesh side requested General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to treat Biman as equal with Saudia in all aspects and vice versa. GACA also agreed to consider both flag carriers as equal in all aspects. Both sides welcomed each other and agreed to continue cooperation in the power sector. Bangladesh side requested the KSA to provide more scholarships for Bangladeshi students in different disciplines of science and technology, energy and power, medical science and engineering. Both side agreed on technical cooperation between Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) and Saudi Standards and Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO). The two sides agreed to work together to complete the executive programme in the field of Islamic affairs. Both sides discussed presenting investment opportunities and feasibility studies for projects in the field of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture in Bangladesh. They, the two sides, agreed to continue cooperation about labor issues in the relevant technical committee. The Saudi Authority agreed to take up with concerned Ministry to expedite the signing of the MoU with PPA Authority of Bangladesh as per requirement of the PPA policy ASAP. The EMRD, Petrobangla, BPDP, ARAMCO Trading and ACWA discussed options to expedite the development of the feasibility study and agreed that the feasibility could be expedited on new investments. A MoU has been signed on Wednesday between BSFIC and ACWA power on generating 180 MW Solar power. The delegates from Bangladesh and the Saudi Arabia discussed on various issues covering socio-economic development of both the countries. At the end of the discussion, both– Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia–delegations agreed to further strengthen mutual cooperation. The 14th session of the Bangladesh-KSA JC would be held in Riyadh.

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