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China, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan keen to invest more

Says Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi after separate meetings with his counterparts at the sidelines of Bangladesh Business Summit 2023
Staff Correspondent
11 Mar 2023 19:54:44 | Update: 12 Mar 2023 00:14:24
China, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan keen to invest more
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi — File Photo

China, Saudi Arabia and Bhutan are willing to invest in Bangladesh’s power and energy, food and agro processing and e-commerce sectors, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said.

He made the disclosure after exchanging views with the commerce ministers of China, Saudi Arabia and Bhutan separately during the three-day “Bangladesh Business Summit 2023,” at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka on Saturday.

This summit is being organised by Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), to mark fifty years of the apex trade body in Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the summit earlier this morning. The foreign and commerce ministries, and the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) have partnered up with the FBCCI for the summit.

The commerce minister said, “China is one of the major exporting countries. They want to invest more in our country. In response, we told them that everything is open for you… come and see in which sector you are interested to invest.

“I told them that we have been importing from them for the last 40 years, now they can invest in our country. They said that they will invest in the power and energy, agro processing and e-commerce sectors.”

He added, “This is why they brought business delegates to discuss such matters with local businessmen. A decision would be taken following the discussion.

The minister mentions that Saudi Arabia has decided to invest heavily in the energy sector of Bangladesh. Besides, the country also wants to invest in the agro-based and food industries.

“Bhutan is keen on increasing trade with Bangladesh. For this reason, it wants to rapidly increase trade by eliminating various problems of the sea and land ports. The economy of Bangladesh is very strong now. Knowing everything, different countries of the world are coming forward to increase trade and investment with us,” said Tipu Munshi.

He added, “Bangladesh is now very lucrative for investment. The work on developing one-hundred Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in various attractive places of the country are ongoing, while several of those have already been completed.

“Various countries of the world and several domestic companies have come forward to invest here, as there are more investment opportunities. The government has provided several facilities for investment and eased investment formalities as well.”

He presented these issues to the visiting delegates, he mentioned.

The commerce minister also held a meeting with Saudi Arabian Minister of Commerce Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al-kassabi, who is visiting Dhaka for the first time.

Tipu Munshi said, “At that time, the visiting minister informed me that Saudi Arabia has decided to invest heavily in Bangladesh. The decision to invest in the energy sector is final. Besides, there are investment opportunities in the agriculture, food sectors of Bangladesh.

“Investors from Saudi Arabia will invest in Bangladesh by considering all aspects.”

The commerce minister later held a discussion with Zhang Shaogang, vice-chairman of the Beijing-based China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, who attended the business summit.

Tipu Munshi said, “Bangladesh is China's fourth largest trading partner. China has huge investments in Bangladesh as Beijing is Bangladesh's development partner.

“Bangladesh has more investment opportunities in energy, agro-based industry, and food processing and infrastructure sectors. Chinese investors are keen to invest more in Bangladesh.”

Later, the commerce minister held a meeting with Minister of Industry, Commerce and Employment of Bhutan Karma Dorji.

The minister of Bhutan told his counterpart that his country is interested in increasing trade with Bangladesh. “He has requested us to make the seaways operational and to remove the port problems for smooth trade,” said Tipu Munshi.