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Saudi Arabia keen to invest more in Bangladesh

BSS . Dhaka
06 Dec 2023 16:45:26 | Update: 06 Dec 2023 20:10:46
Saudi Arabia keen to invest more in Bangladesh
— BSS Photo

Entrepreneurs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have expressed their keenness to invest more in the country’s different sectors including energy, logistics, manufacturing and food.

The information was unveiled Wednesday at an event marking the concession agreement between the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) and Saudi Arabia's company Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) to operate the newly built Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) on PPP-G2G basis for the next 22 years at Le Meridian hotel in the city.

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury and Deputy Minister for Investors Outreach of KSA Badr AlBadr, among others, spoke on the occasion.

In his speech, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said the deal will help further to enhance Saudi investment in Bangladesh.

He said the deal will strengthen bilateral relations, especially in the field of trade and commerce between the two countries.

Badr Albadr said entrepreneurs of Saudi Arabia are keen to invest in various sectors, including energy, logistics, manufacturing and food security of Bangladesh.

“Many renowned Saudi companies and investors have shown keen interest in investing in different sectors,” he added.

He said Saudi Arabia is looking forward to boost bilateral trade with Bangladesh. 

“We want to diversify our investment in Bangladesh. We’re looking forward to start with a few selected sectors, but in the future Saudi is going to collaborate in many areas with Bangladesh. KSA and Bangladesh will work together to resolve challenges in the future,” he added.

PCT is Bangladesh's latest and most modern facility with 500,000 TEU capacity, and it is the first to be operated by an International operator in the busiest port on the Bay of Bengal.

CPA Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammed Sohail and RSGTI CEO Jens O. Floe today signed the concession agreement at Prime Minister’s Office in the city.

Expressing pride at being chosen as a significant investor, Floe remarked, "We eagerly anticipate leveraging our operational excellence to enhance the performance of Bangladesh's primary gateway port.

Collaborating with the CPA, our aim to expand Bangladesh's trade network and foster economic growth for its citizens.

This marks the initiation of what we hope will be an enduring strategic alliance, enabling RSGTI to further invest in the port infrastructure of this rapidly evolving economy." 

Constructed by the Bangladeshi Government, Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) has 580 meters of quay, an area of over 200,000 square meters in conjunction with the South Container Yard and a 9.5-meter draft offering a shorter sailing distance and guaranteed windows, a first for Chittagong Port. RSGTI plans to invest USD 170 million in equipment technology, including four advanced ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, PCT, with the ability to handle three vessels simultaneously, shall, at first, handle geared vessels with an initial annual capacity of 250,000 TEU, doubling its capacity with the delivery of major equipment, including STS Cranes and Rubber-Tired Gantry cranes with the capability of handling the largest gearless and geared vessels calling Chittagong Port.

RSGT Jeddah, RSGTI flagship terminal is the largest terminal in Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea and will handle over 3.3 million TEU in 2023 at the Port of Jeddah. "RSGTI, partly owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, is very pleased to have Patenga Container Terminal represent its first international concession, strengthening its position as an emerging port operator with global investment ambitions and a strong emerging markets focus," said Gagan Seksarna, RSGTT's Director of Global Investments.

The Port of Chattogram ranked 67th among the world's Top 100 Container Ports in 2022, with a container volume of over 3 million TEU: Chittagong is Bangladesh's primary port, through which over 90 percent of Bangladeshi trade passes and is the busiest container port on the Bay of Bengal.