Dhaka seeks $35b Saudi investment: Kamal

DHAKA, Mar 7, 2019 : Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today said the government today placed investment proposals in different sectors amounting to about US$35 billion before the visiting Saudi delegation.

“We have proposed to invest in different projects, including high speed railway lines between Dhaka and Chattogram and Bhanga and Pyara Port. The estimated cost of the projects is not less than $35 billion,” he said at a press briefing after a dialogue titled ‘Saudi Arabia-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation’ at Hotel Intercontinental here.

A 52-member delegation of Saudi Arabia, led by Commerce and Investment Minister Dr Majed bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, took part at the dialogue.

After the dialogue, Saudi Arabia signed six instruments with Bangladesh for the development of the country’s different sectors, including power and industries.

The instruments – two agreements and four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) – were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office in the capital.

Kamal said the Saudi delegation has shown interest to invest in every project and proposed to form a ‘Saudi-Bangladesh Joint Working Committee for Investment’, led by Saudi economy and planning minister, to speed up the implementation process of the projects.

“Their responses were very good. They believe that Bangladesh has progressed a lot. If the country can move a little ahead, it will fulfill the Vision-2021 and Vision-2041,” he added.

The proposed projects are: Construction of a 100MW solar-hybrid power system and floating solar in Feni, electrical goods manufacturing unit, chemical urea-formaldehyde plant, joint venture in food-bakeries, speed railway lines between Dhaka and Chattogram and Bhanga and Pyara Port, an oil refinery, petro-chemical complex, aircraft maintenance facility, high-voltage cables manufacturing unit, establishment of a Saudi-Bangladesh Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology (SBIBET) development of hotels and tourism facilities.

Bangladesh also proposed establishment of a special economic zone at Mireshorai, joint-research, marketing and construction of Urea-ammonia plant, upgrading services of state-owned mobile operator Teletalk to 4G, participation of Bangladeshi experts and farmers in the Red Sea project and outlays of $500 million from the Saudi investment support fund and $500 million from the portfolio investment fund are also on the list.

The singing two agreements are construction of 100-megawatt Solar IPP and manufacturing of transformers and electricity devises.

The MoU was signed for manpower export, setting up a Urea Formaldehyde-85 plant in Bangladesh, establishing Saudi-Bangladesh Biomedical Engineering and Technology and producing cable.