Saudi FM to visit here to explore big investment: Envoy


Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud will visit here on March 16 to explore potentials of big Saudi investment in different sectors of Bangladesh as well as to hold first ever political consultation between the two countries.

This was revealed today by Saudi Arabian ambassador to Bangladesh Essa Yussef Essa Al Dulaihan while he was speaking at a press briefing at Saudi embassy in the capital.

The Saudi foreign minister will hold bilateral meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen as well as lead the Saudi delegation at the first ever political consultation between the two nations, said the envoy.

“Saudi Arabia is studying to establish a special economic zone considering scopes to invest,” Dulaihan told reporters.

The ambassador said his government is keen to invest in different sectors like oil refineries, petrochemical complexes, LNG terminals, power plants, the food and medical industry, road and railway construction, port and harbor construction, civil and military aircraft maintenance and spare parts manufacturing, fertilizers, and solar energy in Bangladesh.

He said Saudi Arabia is considering scopes to invest in the construction of rail links connecting Dhaka and the Payra port, including the development of Cox’s Bazar as an international tourist destination.

The envoy said Engineering Dimensions, a Saudi Arabian enterprise, has confirmed a US$1.8 billion investment in Bangladesh while the Saudi ACWA Power has already announced to invest US$600 million to build 700MW power plant and proposed total US$3.5 billion dollars in Bangladesh.

The Saudi Red Sea Gateway Terminal wants invest US$1.2 billion in Bangladesh, he added.

“I hope our bilateral relations as two Muslim countries will flourish to a new height and to achieve the inspirations of the two leadership,” he said.

About the manpower export, he said, solid contacts have been developed between Riyadh and Dhaka, which benefits Bangladesh economy and the lives of the migrant workers’ families as well.

He said Saudi Arabia is keen to recruit skilled manpower like technical and medical professionals including engineers and doctors from Bangladesh.

Noting that the people of Saudi Arabia deeply acknowledge the contribution of Bangladeshis’ workers towards the development of the Saudi economy, he said, for both countries, it’s a win-win situation as more than 2.3 million Bangladeshi labors are employed there in diverse fields.

Despite the fact that recruiting has been reduced or halted as a result of the pandemic, he said, Saudi Arabia continues to recruit manpower from Bangladesh, and the flights between the two brotherly countries did not stop or even suspended.

During the last five years, Saudi Arabia has issued more than 1.4 million working visas.
“I want to tell you that the embassy issued last week more than 38000 working visa with a new record of 12300 issued in one working day,” he said.

The ambassador hoped that the Saudi Arabia would accommodate Bangladeshi pilgrims like past years when the global life to be back to normal after this pandemic.

However, he said, the decision of allowing the number of hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for this year has yet been taken.

Lauding the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the envoy said, her capacity to make swift decisions is keeping Bangladesh’s economy on track, although many major nations have suffered in this difficult situation of the pandemic.

To combat the Covid-19 pandemic, he mentioned, Saudi Arabia through King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center have provided medical commodity worth US$1 million including 23 ventilator sets and more than 1.5 million vaccines for Bangladesh.

Besides, Bangladeshis in the Kingdom also received necessary medical treatment free as part of the Kingdom’s efforts in confronting the Covid-19 pandemic and distinguished relationship between the two brotherly countries.

The Ambassador also reiterated Saudi Arabia’s commitment to work with Bangladesh in early repatriation of Rohingyas as well as the Kingdom’s support to Gambia for its case against human rights violation of Myanmar with the International court of Justice (ICJ).