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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Bangladesh’s apex business body in Riyadh for trade, energy, infrastructure talks
DHAKA: Bangladesh’s apex business body representatives will focus on trade, energy and infrastructure during talks with their Saudi Arabia counterparts starting on Thursday in Riyadh, according to the organization’s head.
Twenty-one members of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, including FBCCI president Mahbubul Alam.
Opportunities for cooperation have been on the rise since March, when a delegation led by Saudi Arabia’s Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi visited Dhaka.
With several investment agreements signed during the visit, Saudi Arabia entered Bangladesh’s energy, seaport and agriculture industries, while the two nations’ chambers of commerce established the Saudi-Bangladesh Business Council.
“Our visit to the Kingdom is the continuation of that spirit to enhance bilateral trade and investment,” Alam told Arab News.
“Our main focus is to bring bilateral trade and investment to the next level. We have selected a number of areas to increase trade and investment cooperation, which includes energy, petrochemical, banking, infrastructure, and training for skill development.”
The first meetings of the council begin in Riyadh on Thursday and will be followed by talks with various Saudi Arabia business stakeholders and authorities.
“Meetings are scheduled with the president of the Saudi Business Council and the governor of Riyadh,” Alam said, adding that the Bangladeshi government has prepared special incentives for investors from the Kingdom.
“For Saudi investors, the government has allotted 300 acres of land in the economic zone. One of our main discussions will be bringing Saudi investors into that economic zone,” he said.
“We want Saudi investment in Bangladesh. Saudi Arabia is investing in different countries around the world. In Bangladesh, we are also building 100 economic zones to attract foreign investment.”
The FBCCI’s visit takes place as another delegation of 53 top Bangladeshi business leaders arrived in the Kingdom on Sunday to explore investment and cooperation opportunities.
Led by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the delegation includes representatives from small and medium enterprises, as well as from some of the country’s largest conglomerates. This includes the United Group and IFAD Group, which are known for construction and healthcare, and automobile and consumer packaged goods, respectively.
The United Group has its eyes on “cutting-edge technologies” used in the Kingdom and hopes that Bangladesh can also adopt some of Saudi Arabia’s smart city technologies.
The delegation includes top players in the garment, logistics and pharmaceuticals sectors, with meetings set for various Saudi Arabia cities, including Makkah and Madinah.
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