Dhaka will ask Kuwait to help set up an oil refinery, further liberalise its recruitment policy for Bangladeshis and import Bangladeshi products during the Kuwaiti prime minister's three-day visit to the country from today.
Three deals over an increase in and protection of investment, defence cooperation and simplification of visa procedure for diplomatic and official passport holders will be signed following official talks between Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, according to the foreign ministry here.
During the official talks scheduled for tomorrow, Bangladesh will ask for $1 billion from Kuwait as investment in the oil refinery sector.
Hasina will also request the Kuwaiti PM to recruit professionals from Bangladesh, including engineers, doctors, nurses and skilled and semi-skilled technicians, diplomatic sources said.
She will call upon the Kuwaiti government and business community to import world-class ceramics, pharmaceuticals, melamine, sanitary ware, toiletries, leather products and furniture from Bangladesh.
“The agenda of the prime minister's official visit to Bangladesh includes political, economic, investment and educational issues,” Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
Kuwait is an important trade partner of Bangladesh as the latter imports large quantities of Kuwaiti oil while a total of 200,000 Bangladeshis work in the Middle-Eastern country.
Kuwait was one of the largest manpower destinations for Bangladeshis in 2006 before the Gulf country imposed a ban on recruiting workers from here citing malpractices of Bangladeshi private recruitment agencies.
However, it relaxed the embargo in 2014. More than 17,000 Bangladeshis found jobs in the oil-rich country last year while over 6,000 have been recruited this year until now.
Kuwait is hiring Bangladeshis for all its sectors, including construction and manufacture, said Abdul Latif Khan, counsellor (labour wing) at the Bangladesh Embassy in Kuwait, last evening.
Both Bangladesh and Kuwait are giving special importance to the visit as the two prime ministers are set to discuss vital issues of common interest and means of boosting bilateral cooperation in various fields as well as to sign a defence deal.
Bangladesh stood by Kuwait during the latter's liberation war following the Iraqi invasion in 1991 and contributed a military unit to the international campaign “Operation Desert Shield”.
It also voted in favour of all the United Nations Security Council resolutions supporting Kuwait as it had a membership in the Security Council at the time in 2001-2002, diplomatic sources said.
Moreover, Bangladesh contributed peace-keeping forces to the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission deployed along the border between the two countries after the war. A considerable number of Bangladeshi troops work in the Kuwaiti army in logistics and other domains.
Kuwait contributes to the development of Bangladesh and the state's infrastructure through the loans offered by Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
Besides, Kuwaiti Joint Relief Committee and social and technological support institutions are offering relief and humanitarian aid to the poor in Bangladesh.
During this visit, the Kuwait's prime minister will call on President Abdul Hamid and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Rowshan Ershad. He will lead a 68-member delegation, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Oil Anas Ahaked Al-Saleh and Education Minister Bader Hamad Al-Eissa.