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Bangladesh-KSA Joint Commission meeting begins

The two-day 13th Joint Commission (JC) meeting between Bangladesh and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) began in Dhaka on Wednesday aiming to boost the bilateral relations between the two countries in a wide range of areas including manpower, investment, power and energy.

The Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed is leading the Bangladesh delegation comprising representatives from various Ministries and Divisions.

Saudi Deputy Minister for Labour and Social Development Mahir Abdul Rahman Gassim is leading his country’s delegation.

Addressing at the inaugural function of the JC meeting held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area, ERD Secretary said there has a huge potential to invest in Bangladesh and many countries have already showed their interest to invest here.

“For this reason, investment in Bangladesh has witnessed a rise in the recent times and the Saudi investors can avail this opportunity,” he said.

Monowar said Bangladesh is expecting huge investments from the KSA in the fields of communication, port, power and energy, ICT, agriculture, fisheries, to pursue the country’s efforts towards attaining the SDGs and also to turn Bangladesh as a developed country by 2041.

Apart from this, the ERD Secretary said many Bangladeshi skilled and unskilled workers are now working in KSA and their various issues and problems what they are facing now there would be discussed in the meeting.

Saudi Deputy Minister Gassim said some 29 representatives from 21 agencies are attending the JC meeting alongside the private sector representatives and they are eager to invest in various sectors of Bangladesh.

He said some 1.6 million Bangladeshi workers are now working in KSA and they are contributing to the economy of the oil-rich country.

Gassim said the bilateral relation is now very warm especially after the previous visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to KSA.

Bangladesh Ambassador to KSA Golam Masih also spoke.

The Joint Commission (JC) meeting held its last 12 sessions alternatively in Bangladesh and KSA. The last 12th JC meeting was held at Riyadh on March 14-15, 2018.

In continuation of that 12th JC session, the ERD on behalf of the government of Bangladesh has organized the 13th JC session here at the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.

Bangladesh is hosting this JC meeting in such a time when the country is cruising well in its development pursuit. At the same time, this year, the whole nation is going to celebrate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

ERD officials said the 13th JC meeting is discussing a wide range of bilateral issues like manpower and employment, economic and commercial relationship development, investment and industry, power and energy, religious affairs, tourism, ICT, agriculture and fisheries, health services and education.

The bilateral relationship with KSA has transformed into friendship over the last half a century. It has been better than ever under the able
leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Kingdom of KSA, they said.

ERD officials also said Bangladesh is now eying on beyond the friendship keeping the ‘effective partnership for sustainable development’ at the core. Bangladesh is expecting continued and increased support from its bilateral friends and development partners.

At the same time, the country is also expecting scaled up investment in different economic sectors of the country.

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