Urging Saudi business community to invest in the potential sectors, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the Saudi investors could set up a 'Special Economic Zone' in any of the 100 Economic Zones initiated by Bangladesh taking the lucrative offers provided by the government.
Tofail Ahmed, as the chief guest, made the remarks while addressing at the 'Bangladesh-Saudi Arabia Business Meeting' at a city hotel yesterday.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) organized the meeting. FBCCI President Md Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin) presided over the meeting while the first Vice-president of FBCCI Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Vice-president Md Muntakim Ashraf and the other directors also attended the meeting.
President of International Marketing Investment Company Group Ltd Moshabab Abdulla Alkahtani led the 21-member high-powered Saudi delegation comprising representatives from construction, real estate, construction materials, agriculture, tourism, food and beverage sectors. Tofail Ahmed said that Bangladesh is also transforming from agriculture based growth to industry-service oriented growth arena.
Referring Bangladesh as one of the fastest growing country of the world, he hopped that Bangladesh will be the 28th strongest economy by 2030.
Urging to reduce the trade gap with Saudi Arabia by diversifying export and increasing the quantity of export, commerce minister also hoped that the visit of Saudi delegation will help further development of trade and investment between the two friendly countries.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Golam Moshi, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Kazi M Aminul Islam and First Vice-president of FBCCI Sheikh Fazle Fahim also spoke on the occasion.
Mentioning Saudi Arabia as one of the leading development partners of Bangladesh, FBCCI Chief Md Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin) briefed the delegation on the current economic development in the country.
Mohiuddin mentioned that bilateral trade has been gradually increasing and total two-way trade stands at US$ 790 million. So far Saudi Arabia has invested in the banking and Finance sector of Bangladesh which could be expanded to other potential sectors.
It may be mentioned that, Bangladesh exported goods worth $185.21 million to Saudi Arabia in 2016-17 and imported $605.40 million worth of goods.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at the meeting between FBCCI and Alfanar Energy, a leading manufacturer and construction company of Saudi Arabia. According to the memorandum, the Alfanar Energy will establish a 40-100 MW solar power plant in Bangladesh and FBCCI will assist to establish the project.
Secretary General (In-Charge) of FBCCI Hussain Jamil and Business Development Manager of Alfanar Energy Muhammed Irfan signed the memorandum.
After the inaugural session, the business entrepreneurs met at Business-to-Business (B2B) meeting. Entrepreneurs of construction, power, oil and gas, textiles and apparel, banking and finance, information technology, leather and leather goods, electronics and telecommunication, health and pharmaceuticals, frozen food, jute, tourism, agriculture and beverage from both the countries attended the discussion.
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