Dhaka seeks Saudi investment in PPP projects

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Dhaka, Mar 08: Dhaka has urged Riyadh to sign an MoU between Public-Private Partnership (PPA) Authority of Bangladesh and competent Saudi authority to further enable Saudi investors to invest in Bangladesh on the PPP projects.

State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam made the proposal while holding bilateral talks with his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir at the latter’s Office in Riyadh on Sunday, a foreign ministry press release said on Monday.

In reply, Saudi junior minister said that they would soon sort out the MoU issue regarding PPP and hope that potential Saudi companies would invest in a vibrant economy like Bangladesh. Alam expressed Bangladesh’s deep gratitude to the Saudi King and Crown Prince for allowing all the foreign residents including Bangladeshi nationals irrespective of their legal status for access to free COVID treatment and inoculation. Upon a request made by Alam, State Minister Jubeir assured of considering and interim arrangement for the irregular Bangladesh expatriates to have access health facilities and employment.

The state minister also requested to reappoint a cultural attach, at the Saudi Embassy in Dhaka, so the service seekers’ would not need to send their documents to New Delhi for attestation and Saudi side took note of that. Both the state ministers agreed to expedite the pending Agreements and MoUs and to hold first Foreign Office Consultation where the whole gamut of bilateral relationship could be discussed.

Alam mentioned that under the visionary leaderships of both the countries, the relations have elevated to a strategic level.

For advancing from this point, he emphasized on exploring further avenues of cooperation on international issues based on common interest and goals and economic ties.

The state minister stressed on regular Business to Business dialogue to explore bilateral trade and investment opportunities in Bangladesh.

Alam also reiterated Bangladesh government’s unwavering support to the Saudi side and expressed solidarity condemning the recent cowardly attacks Houthis.

Adel Al-Jubeir appreciated Bangladesh’s position on Yemen issue.

The Saudi State Minister congratulated Bangladesh at its 50th anniversary of independence.

He highly praised the remarkable sustained economic growth of Bangladesh carried out in last one decade under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He continued the recent UN decision to graduate Bangladesh from LDC category to the middle-income country is a testimony of this success.

He fondly remembered the historic ties between this two countries and the valued contribution of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to its independence and laying foundation of Golden Bengal.

Early in the morning, Shahriar Alam laid a wreath at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and attended a webinar to mark the historic March 7.

In the evening, he attended another international webinar on ‘historic 7th March speech by Bangabandhu focusing on historical and political perspective’.

Shahriar Alam is now in Saudi Arabia on a three-day official visit.