Saudi King keen to promote ties with Bangladesh, PM told

Publish: 7:43 PM, March 7, 2019 | Update: 7:43:PM, March 7, 2019

DHAKA,  – Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has expressed his interest in promoting further economic relations with Bangladesh, said visiting Saudi Minister of Trade and Investment Dr Majid Bin Abdullah al Qosaibi today.

“Before coming to Bangladesh, I called on His Highness King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Monday when our King said he is keen to bolster economic ties with Bangladesh,” Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted him as saying during a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Dr Qosaibi together with Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Bin Mazyed Al-Tawijri paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister at her office this afternoon.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, the press secretary said the two ministers had conveyed the regards of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

They highly appreciated Bangladesh’s remarkable progress under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina.

Praising the country’s economic uplift, the two ministers dubbed Bangladesh as an ‘Asian Tiger’.

The two Saudi ministers commended the speed of poverty reduction in Bangladesh. They said what they saw in this regard was beyond their expectation.

Referring to the existing brotherly relations between the two countries, they said they want to take the bilateral ties to a new height.

They said they have identified seven projects which include railway, aeronautics and post and telecommunications.

They said the Saudi entrepreneurs are keen to invest in Bangladesh.

The two ministers termed the increase of Bangladesh’s export earnings to 37 billion dollars from 10 billion as a big achievement.

They offered condolences at the loss of so many lives in the recent Chawkbazar fire and conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved families.

The prime minister welcomed the two Saudi ministers to Bangladesh, saying that “We have traditional relations with Saudi Arabia.”

Sheikh Hasina conveyed her regards to the Saudi King through the two ministers.

Highlighting Bangladesh’s tremendous development over the last 10 years, the prime minister said: “Our goal is to develop the country further … though the size of the country is small, its population is huge.”

She elaborated her government’s successes in different sectors including agriculture, education, health and women empowerment.

Seeking Saudi investment in Bangladesh, the prime minister said her government is setting up 100 special economic zones in the country for more industrialization and employment.

“We’re giving land to the companies concerned which can set up industries according to their choice,” she said, adding Bangladesh has a huge domestic market.

Mentioning that the government is establishing an aviation and aeronautics university in Lalmonirhat, Sheikh Hasina said a law to this effect has already been passed.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Planning Minister MA Mannan, PM’s Adviser Dr Towfik-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Power Nasul Hamid Bipu, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hasan and Bangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Saudi Ambassador in Dhaka were present at the meeting.