New move to revive talks on Saudi investments

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 15 Mar 2017, 21:32:57

New move to revive talks on Saudi investments

Talha Bin Habib

The government has planned to revive talks with Saudi entrepreneurs for investments in Bangladesh as promised during the Prime Minister's visit to the oil-rich Kingdom last year, officials said.   

"We discussed on the proposed Saudi investments issue with our embassy official stationed in Riyadh in the capital (Dhaka) recently," executive chairman (EC) of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority Kazi M Aminul Islam told the FE.   

He said the embassy official would soon finalise a list of officials of the two countries for exchange visits to each other for the discussion on the investment issue.

"We have directed our embassy official who deals with trade or commercial affairs to finalise the list of officials for mutual exchange of visits," he said.

He said there would be a meeting or forum in the capital, which would be sponsored by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) with an aim to attract investments not only from the KSA, but also from other middle-eastern countries in Bangladesh.    

Meanwhile, the country's apex trade body is also considering dispatching a letter to the country's mission in Riyadh to push the issue and convince the Saudi government for investments in Bangladesh, according to the business circle.

Under the move, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) will write a letter to Bangladesh embassy to get Saudi private sector involved.

"We will write a letter to the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh so that they could pursue the Saudi government and the private sector for investments in Bangladesh," president of the FBCCI Abdul Matlub Ahmad told the FE.

He said that during the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to the KSA last year the Kingdom's entrepreneurs committed to invest billions of dollars investment in Bangladesh.

To gear up the investment, a business delegation from Saudi Arabia was supposed to visit the country in November last.  But they did not visit.

The potential investment from Saudi Arabia may come in infrastructure, communication, power, plastic, bitumen, petroleum and financial sectors.

Mr Ahmad said the Saudi investment might reach from US $ 7.0 billion to $ 10 billion.

The country mainly exports woven garments, knitwear, home textiles, agri- products, frozen food, leather and leather products, footwear and jute and jute goods to Saudi Arabia, while imports animal products, mineral products, plastic and rubber articles, and petroleum products.

Bangladesh exported goods worth $186.32 million to Saudi Arabia and imported products worth $ 829.05 million during the fiscal year 2014-15.
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