Dhaka – Dhaka and Riyadh have signed deals to enhanced cooperation, especially on power and manufacturing sectors, as two senior ministers from Saudi Arabia are in Bangladesh.
Officials said Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia signed six instruments (four memorandum of understanding and two agreements) showcasing the kingdom’s improved relations with the new government in Bangladesh led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after the late last year’s election.
Governments in the Muslim-majority Bangladesh generally consider an improved relation with Saudi Arabia, well known for the birthplace of Islam, important to keep happy the Muslims.
Saudi Minister of Trade and Investment Majid Bin Abdullah al Qosaibi and Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Bin Mazyed Al-Tawijri arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday to hold discussions on further cooperation between the two countries.
The ministers, besides holding talks with their Bangladesh counterparts, met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and the signing of the instruments took place at the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday. The Prime Minister and the visiting ministers witnessed the signing of the agreements.
The two countries signed an agreement on construction of 100 megawatt solar IPP (independent power producer) to generate power for sale.
Alfanar Company of Saudi Arabia and Electric Generation Company Bangladesh Limited inked the deal as Vice-President of Sales and Marketing of Aslfanar Kahlid Bin Qabel Al Sulami and Managing Director of Electric Generation Company Arun Kumar Saha represented them on their respective behalf.
The General Electric Manufacturing Company of Bangladesh and Engineering Dimension of Saudi Arabia also penned an agreement on manufacturing of transformers and electricity devises.
BMET of Bangladesh and Al Maml Trading Estate of Saudi Arabia singed memorandum of understanding for manpower export from Bangladesh. Acting Director General of BMET SK Rafikul Islam and Chairman of Al Maml Trading signed the deal.
Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation and Yusuf Al Raji Construction signed the memorandum on setting up a Urea Formaldehyde-85 plant in Bangladesh. Industries Secretary Md Abdul Halim and Saudi entrepreneur Yusuf Bin Abdullah Al Razi signed the deal.
The MoU on establishing Saudi-Bangladesh Biomedical Engineering and Technology was penned by Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) and Al Afaliq Group of Saudi Arabia.
Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation and Riyadh Cable Group of Saudi Arabia signed the other memorandum on producing cable. Industries Secretary Abdul Halim and CEO of Riyadh Cable Group Mohamed Mustafa Mohamed Rafea inked the deal.
Earlier, Saudi Commerce and Investment Minister Majed Bin Abdullah Al Kassabi said the relationship between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia sees a “new chapter” through their presence to find wider investment opportunities in Bangladesh.
Saudi Arabia is serious in enhancing business ties with Bangladesh, he said while addressing a plenary session of the joint ministerial level meeting with Bangladesh on investment in Dhaka.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and Prime Minister’s Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman also spoke on the occasion. Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Kazi M Aminul Islam was also present.