DHAKA: Saudi Arabia has proposed to invest $50 billion in the private sector of Bangladesh. The businessmen of Saudi Arabia will make the investment in a special economic zone, a fertilizer factory, power plant, solar panel and solar electricity plants.
A 21-member delegation of Saudi Arabia’s International Marketing Investment Company Group Limited led by its Executive President Moshabab Abdullah Al Qahtani made the proposal after visiting Bangladesh from Dec 4th to 7th.
During the visit here, they hold bilateral meetings with Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed. They also hold meetings with some business organizations too.
The Commerce Ministry informed that though the location of special economic zone at Chittagong and Fertilizer factory in Bhola were finalized, the location of solar electricity plant is yet to be finalized.
Sources from the ministry said that the Saudi delegation wants to set up fertilizer factory to produce Di Ammonia Phosphate (DAP) by the natural gas of Bhola. The delegation gave the proposal to reduce the business deficit between the two countries.
Meanwhile, for setting up special economic zone another proposal is already in the card through Al Bawani Company Limited from Riyadh. This proposal is the outcome of the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Jeddah when she called for investment in Bangladesh. In response to the proposal, BEZA has already earmarked 2 thousand acres of land in Mirsharai of Chittagong.
Simultaneously, Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in a joint venture to set up a paper mill near Karnaphuli Paper Mills, a power plant and a cement factory and also to invest in Bangabandhu Hi Tech Park City in Kaliakoir of Gazipur.
The total investment will be primarily $50 billion.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told Banglanews that ‘We told the delegation that we will help in all matters for investment. During the visit of our Prime Minister the Saudi businessmen were requested to expand their investment here. In response to that request they have given this proposal.’
Finance Minister AMA Muhith commented that this investment proposal is an epoch-making event.
He told Banglanews that ‘I am happy for this investment proposal. We have businesses with them but not structured, almost individual effort dependent. I hope that this investment will be more structured leading to expanding the business in near future. Through this investment proposal we would come across many people and parties.”
He further said that we are known everywhere by our garments but now we are capable to export diversified products. From that point of view this visit is meaningful.
Commerce Ministry said that if the Saudi businessmen invest in power plants, Solar panels and fertilizer factory then the present deficit will reduce.
In fiscal year 2016-17 Saudi Arabia exported goods in Bangladesh worth $60 crore 54 lakh while it imported from Bangladesh goods worth $18 crore 52 lakh 10 thousand. So the deficit stands at $42 crore 2 lakh. It means in Bangladesh currency it is Tk3.5 thousand crores. In 2015-16 fiscal year, the deficit was $36 crore 50 lakh. According to statistics the deficit has increased.
BDST: 1504 HRS, DEC 10, 2017