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Saudi FM due in Dhaka Mar 16 to discuss big investment proposals

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud will arrive in Dhaka on March 16 to hold talks with government leaders on identifying the potential areas of his country’s big investments in Bangladesh.

He is coming at the invitation of Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and will have bilateral meeting with him on March 16.

The Saudi foreign minister is likely to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during his visit apart from other engagements.

Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Essa Yussef Essa Al Dulaihan briefed media at the Embassy on Wednesday highlighting various aspects of the relations including Saudi investors’ desire to invest “extensively” in Bangladesh.

Engineering Dimensions, a Saudi Arabian Enterprise, has confirmed $1.8 billion investment in Bangladeshi, said the envoy.

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

The ambassador said Saudi ACWA Power has already announced to invest $ 600 million to build 700 MW power plant and proposed a total $ 3.5 billion investment in Bangladesh.

He said Saudi Red Sea Gateway Terminal wants to invest $ 1.2 billion in Bangladesh, said the envoy.

Earlier, Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) of Bangladesh said the Saudi Ministry of Investment will soon send a delegation to Bangladesh to explore investment opportunities in the PPP projects.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) finds Bangladesh as a “top priority country” and is interested in a long-term strategic plan where they will contribute to the economic growth of the country.

A delegation from the Ministry of Investment, KSA comprising 29 investors will come to Dhaka soon to explore investment opportunities in PPP projects.

Recently, the Ministry of Shipping of Bangladesh presented 3 PPP model – Chattogram Port Authority, Container Terminal-2 of Payra Port Authority, and Container Terminal-2 of Payra Port Authority.

It was decided that there needs to be a time frame for identifying PPP projects along with competent investors. Timeframe is also required for each project to execute the project plan.

Bangladesh-KSA Joint PPP Platform jointly organized a virtual conference between Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) and the Ministry of Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently to explore potentials of PPP projects in Bangladesh.

Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the prime minister, has recently highlighted the close ties between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh.

Kaikaus said it was a “new beginning” for Bangladesh and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and greeted Riyadh for selecting Bangladesh for investment.

Sultana Afroz, secretary and chief executive officer of PPP Authority, recently gave an overview of PPP projects in Bangladesh, the legal framework and incentives provided by the government to attract PPP projects.

Red Sea Gateway Terminal was nominated to undertake Patenga Container Terminal Project (if selected by the Bangladesh authority) any other PPP projects related to sea ports in Bangladesh.

A Government to Government (G2G) Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia and PPP Authority, Bangladesh was signed on 28 October, 2021.

The Saudi ambassador, earlier, conveyed to the government of Bangladesh about the interests of the Saudi public and private investors to invest in different sectors in Bangladesh.

He particularly mentioned about the interests of ARAMCO, Acwa Power, Alfanar Group, Engineering Dimension (ED), Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT), Daelim KSA, Aljumairah Group etc.