The five-decade-long diplomatic relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Bangladesh has consistently upheld a longstanding economic and development tie. These two friendly nations have nurtured robust diplomatic ties marked by mutual understanding and deep fraternity. Throughout this journey, our bilateral trade has thrived, reaching approximately USD 2 billion in FY2022. As Bangladesh transitions from its Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2026 and followed by developed economy by 2041, it faces the crucial task of diversifying its export portfolio and seeking new markets beyond its traditional partners. In this context, Saudi Arabia emerges as a potentially game-changing market with immense potential for both trade and investment. The recent visit of His Excellency Khaled Al-Faleh, the Honorable Minister of Investment for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh, commemorates a significant milestone in deepening the relationship of trade and investment between both countries. Saudi Arabia has affirmed its commitment to strengthen business ties with Bangladesh in various sectors, including food, energy, logistics and manufacturing.
In this connection, the President of Dhaka Chamber, Barrister Sameer Sattar said that Bangladesh needs to attract Saudi investments in diverse sectors like infrastructure, energy, and manufacturing to fully leverage this opportunity. The double taxation agreement between the two nations is a positive step, encouraging Saudi investors to explore the potential investment in Economic zones and Hi-tech parks in Bangladesh. Additionally, collaboration in technology, renewable energy, and healthcare can foster innovation and competitiveness in both countries.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia holds a pivotal role as the largest and most significant destination for Bangladeshi migrant workers, contributing significantly to the development of both nations through their active participation in economic activities in KSA and remittance transfer to Bangladesh. It is worth mentioning that the Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) in Saudi Arabia contribute around 30% of the total remittance influx to Bangladesh. The emerging economy of KSA has created a demand for skilled professionals in various sectors, including engineering, IT services, education and healthcare. Barrister Sattar urges Saudi Government to recruit more professionals as Bangladesh has a large pool of talented individuals in these fields, who can contribute to Saudi Arabia’s development while simultaneously promoting skilled labor migration and increasing foreign currency inflow.
Beyond trade and investment, Barrister Sattar believes that strengthening cooperation in education, culture, and tourism can play a vital role in expanding the long-term economic partnership. In addition, establishing efficient communication between chambers of commerce and facilitating frequent business delegations can pave the way for new business opportunities. Recently, Barrister Sattar led the largest business delegation ever to Saudi Arabia to explore more business opportunities.
The LDC graduation of Bangladesh is going to unveil a new chapter in its economic journey ahead. In this regard, KSA with its vast resources and growing economy, stands as a strategic partner with immense potential to propel the smooth economic transformation of Bangladesh as well as steer our thriving economic partnership.