Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud on Wednesday said they are extremely optimistic about the future of Bangladesh and the two countries will work together to expand their cooperation.
“I think there is a lot to be done,” he told reporters after his meeting with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at a city hotel, noting that the two countries have a clear target to work together to that end.
Momen led an eight-member Bangladesh delegation while the six-member Saudi delegation was led by its foreign minister at the first-ever "Political Consultations" between the two countries.
Responding to a question, the Saudi foreign minister said they are committed to a “stable” oil market and all indications say there is no concern regarding the oil supply.
He said that they are “very optimistic” about the future of this relationship with Bangladesh. “We just had an excellent political consultation.”
Most importantly, he said they explored how they can expand the partnership as the two countries enjoy a historic strong relationship.
“We’re committed to building up on this strong foundation to a much broader partnership. We see significant interest in the Saudi companies’ presence here," he said.
Among the issues that came up for review and discussion were increased bilateral trade and investment, recruitment of skilled manpower, Hajj management, education, health, environment and climate change, ICT and tourism, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prince Faisal stressed the need for enhancing collaboration in trade and investment and stated that several Saudi companies have already invested in some sectors in Bangladesh and other companies are considering greater engagement in various areas.
He sought policy and institutional support from the Bangladesh side.
The Saudi FM also suggested launching a joint business forum and exchange of business delegation between the two countries to augment bilateral trade and business.
Momen said they are very proud to see this high level political consultation for the first time.
He said some 20 Saudi companies have shown interest to invest in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has assured of providing required facilities in the economic zones, he said.
Momen said they also discussed food security issues noting that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has put a lot of emphasis on this.
He said the Saudi side assured of hassle-free clearance of visas for 100 percent hajj applicants.
The Saudi foreign minister arrived in Dhaka on a brief official visit on Tuesday evening.