The government may set up a separate economic zone for Saudi Arabian investors, after similar benefits were offered to China, Japan and India.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith made the offer to his Saudi Arabian counterpart Mohammed Al Jadaan and called for investing in Bangladesh, on the sidelines of the Islamic Development Bank's (IDB) annual meeting in Jeddah on May 16.
The 42nd annual meeting of the IDB board of governors was held in Jeddah from May 14 to May 18, and for the first time, the Bangladesh finance minister chaired the meeting. Muhith informed his counterpart of the special economic zones in Bangladesh, some of which are dedicated to specific countries such as Japan, South Korea and China, according to a finance ministry statement. “Al Jadaan took note of this cordially,” said the statement.
Muhith recalled the commitment of the Saudi government regarding the establishment of 560 mosques and Islamic centres at the district and upazila levels in Bangladesh. He informed the Saudi minister that the project has already been approved by the government.
Yosef Ibrahim Al-Bassam, vice chairman and managing director of Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), was also present in the meeting. Muhith thanked Al-Bassam for coming forward with short term trade financing facilities for Bangladesh.
He emphasised the need to extend financing under the umbrella of the five-year programmes instead of an annual basis.
Muhith on Sunday told reporters at his secretariat that Ahsania Mission is going to set up a cancer hospital in Bangladesh. The Islamic Trade Financing Corporation, the private sector wing of the IDB, has promised to give $40 million for the cancer hospital.
On the sidelines of the IDB annual meeting in Jeddah, Muhith signed an agreement worth $33.3 million with IDB President Bandar Bin Hajjar for the agriculture sector and rural development in Rangpur division.