Investment is set to top the priority list as two days of talks between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia begin at Economic Relations Division (ERD) from today.
The meetings are of a Joint Economic Commission formed by the two countries. It will comprise a 40-member Saudi delegation, led by a deputy minister for labour and social development and including 10 representatives from seven conglomerates.
The entities are Saudi Aramco, ACWA Power, Honey and Health, Engineering Dimension Com, Aljomaih Energy and Water Company, Albwani Water and Power, and Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT).
The company representatives will take part in technical sessions of business-to-government meetings to discuss about investment opportunities and the modalities. Monowar Ahmed, secretary to the ERD, will lead the Bangladesh side.
The seven companies, already having billions of dollars invested in Bangladesh's power and textile sectors, are interested in expanding their investment, said Mohammad Abul Hasan, economic minister at the Bangladesh embassy in the kingdom.
Bangladesh wants to mobilise $50 billion in investment from the Saudi investors and there is scope to get at least $15 billion for the energy sector, he told The Daily Star.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is heading a $250 billion Public Investment Fund and has undertaken a "Look East" investment policy against the region's recent economic developments, he added.
The Saudi government is keen on investing in Bangladesh and the question is over how much the latter could absorb, said Hasan.
Known internationally for world-class port terminal services, the RSGT is one of Saudi Arabia's largest operators, building its newest flagship container terminal at Jeddah Islamic Port.
It is keen on making investments under public-private partnership to develop Bangladesh's port infrastructure and maritime sector. Last August it proposed investing in infrastructure and technical developments of the Chattogram, Mongla and Payra ports.
The Saudi company has already signed a letter of intent with the shipping ministry to explore investment opportunities and provide expertise.
Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco is keen on working on an oil refinery, a petrochemical complex and associated storage.