Saudi to invest $30bn in Bangladesh

Dhaka, Thursday   02 April 2020


Saudi to invest $30bn in Bangladesh

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 03:56 PM, 13 February 2020   Updated: 04:00 PM, 13 February 2020

File Photo

File Photo

Saudi Arabia’s different state-owned international companies including Saudi Aramco, ACWA Power, Honey and Health, Engineering Dimension Com, Aljomaih Energy and Water Company, Albwani Water and Power, and the Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT); are keen to invest $30 billion in various potential business sectors in Bangladesh, reports Arab News according to Bangladeshi officials.

On the first day of a two-day Joint Economy Council meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a 40 members delegation—led by Saudi Deputy Minister for International Affairs Mahir Al-Gassin and including representatives from seven of the Kingdom’s largest conglomerates held a discussion with Bangladeshi side led by Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed on Wednesday. It includes six technical talks, the concerned sources informed. In the meeting, discussion has also been held on the important issues like welfare of Bangladeshi workers in the Kingdom and resolving passport issues that is hanged over the years, the sources also confirmed.

Regarding the meeting, Faisal Zahur, senior assistant chief of ERD’s Middle East wing, told the media that the Saudi delegation was analyzing a draft agreement that would be ready to sign on Thursday.

“The JEC meeting was heavily dominated by investment issues mainly in the power and energy sector of Bangladesh. We have prepared a draft agreement which will be inked on Thursday by both sides,” he said, adding that other matters pertaining to the welfare of Bangladeshi workers in the Kingdom were also discussed.

“The Saudi authorities were asked to resolve passport issues for Bangladeshi migrants who are facing trouble in the Kingdom due to expired passports,” Zahur said, adding that while investments worth $30 billion were on the charts, the amount could be more.

“Saudi investors are ready to invest any amount in Bangladesh but it depends on how much the country can consume,” he said.

Mohammad Sirazul Islam, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), said that Saudi Arabia is an ideal partner. We are very keen to have Saudi investors here in Bangladesh because they have huge investment capacity. Our focus is to bring in large investors who will invest several hundred million or billion (dollars).”

Islam added that discussion on both of the government-to-business and business-to-business investments had been done on Wednesday, with most of the investment in the private sector tilting towards joint ventures.

“Engineering Dimensions, a giant transformer producer in the Kingdom, has already started a joint venture with a Bangladeshi state-owned company,” he said. “Now, discussions are underway about tax benefits and other relevant issues, which are expected to be settled very soon.”