Around a dozen Saudi Arabia owned companies are contemplating to invest over US$2.5 billion to Bangladeshi telecom, energy and other utility sectors.

Saudi 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 investment prospects in Bangladesh.

Monowar Ahmed, secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), in a joint press briefing at the conclusion of the 13th session of the two-day Bangladesh-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission meeting told “Our relationship has reached a new height over the last few years, especially after the visit of Prime Minister [in 2018],” Mahir Abdul Rahman Gassim, Saudi deputy minister for international affairs of the labour and social development ministry, led the 40-member delegation from the kingdom nation in the talks held recently

“Sometimes, there were delays in issuance of immigration clearance to jobseekers who already have Saudi visas. In such cases, visas expire and the jobseekers run into trouble,” Gassim said. Promises were given on behalf of Bangladesh’s expatriates’ welfare ministry to address the issue.

The next Bangladesh-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission will be held in Riyadh in 2022.

It is an encouraging development for Bangladesh that is earnestly looking to boost its modest levels of foreign direct investment. Last  year, $3.88 billion of foreign direct investment flew in, according to data from the central bank.

The KSA is the largest trading partner of Bangladesh in the Middle East, with annual trade volume coming to about $1.5 billion. Also, the oil-rich country is home to some 15 lakh Bangladeshi migrants who sent home about $3.6 billion last year.

The Saudi delegation was led by Mahir Abdul Rahman Gassim, Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister for international affairs at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.

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