Dhaka, Riyadh agree to develop “comprehensive partnership”

Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have agreed to elevate their excellent relations to a “comprehensive partnership” following a roadmap to that end.

Bangladesh side proposed for a “comprehensive partnership” and proceed to that end following a roadmap which was agreed by the Saudi side.

“Yes, Riyadh has agreed on Dhaka’s proposal to have a comprehensive partnership between the two countries,” Secretary (East) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mashfee Binte Shams told UNB on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen led an eight-member Bangladesh delegation while the six-member Saudi delegation was led by its Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud at the first ever “Political Consultations” between the two countries on Wednesday.

Among the issues that came up for review and discussion were increased bilateral trade and investment, recruit of skilled manpower, Hajj management, education, health, environment and climate change, ICT and tourism, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Saudi foreign minister stressed the need to enhance collaboration in trade and investment and stated that some Saudi companies have already invested in some sectors in Bangladesh and some other companies are considering greater engagement in various areas.

He sought policy and institutional support from the Bangladesh side.

Bangladesh foreign minister expressed his keenness to scale up the level of engagement from friendship and cooperation and proposed a time-bound roadmap to enhance the relationship.

He identified six new areas of engagement for future collaboration.

These are collaboration and partnership with Saudi Green Initiative undertaken by the Saudi Crown Prince; Saudi investment in the Bangabandhu Industrial City [Exclusive Economic Zone] in Chattogram; investment by leading Saudi companies in development of Tourism and Hotel industry and in the IT sector, Contract Farming in third countries for agro-production to attain food security and developing Skills Training Programme in Bangladesh at Saudi initiative.

Both the leaders expressed satisfaction at the close alignment of positions in all major global issues regarding stability, security, primacy of state sovereignty and upholding the UN Charter and agreed to continue this collaboration in the future.

The Saudi FM left Dhaka on Wednesday afternoon wrapping up his less than 24-hour visit.

Source: United News of Bangladesh