Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said her recent visit to Saudi Arabia would play an important role in protecting Bangladesh’s economic interest with the Kingdom beyond the traditional labour sector.
“Earlier, the labour issue was given top priority during all high level visits of Bangladesh to Saudi Arabia. But, this visit was beyond that traditional course as the two sides engaged in constructive discussion in trade and economic issues also to protect our mutual interests, strengthen cooperation for peace and stability in the Muslim World,” she told a press conference at her Gonobhaban residence.
During the visit, the two countries were engaged in constructive discourse to build up strong partnership and bilateral cooperation on defence and security sectors, she said.
“I hope that the visit will play an enduring role to strengthen the relations between the two countries, particularly protecting the interests of Bangladesh,” the prime minister said.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Minister for Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader were present at the press conference conducted by PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim.
Terming her meetings with the Saudi Kind and Crown Prince very warm and cordial, the prime minister said King Salman Bin Abdulaziz expressed his satisfaction over infusion of new speed into the relations between the two countries in recent years.
The King attached importance to continuation of the bilateral communication and cooperation for further expansion of the relations between the two countries in future, the prime minister said.
He particularly laid emphasis on more utilization of the scopes of cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, culture, defence and security, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the Saudi King highly praised the socioeconomic advancement of Bangladesh and put emphasis on continuation of the government to sustain the progress and stability.
She said the Saudi King accepted her invitation to visit Bangladesh and expressed the hope to pay the visit in near future.
Sheikh Hasina said she had urged Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to come up with more Saudi investment.
The Crown prince, she said, expressed his keenness to be a party of Bangladesh’s development and assured her of sending a high level business and expert delegation within next two months.
She expressed her determination to work together with Saudi Arabia on various regional and international issues, particularly on development and peace of the Muslim World.
“We have identified the defence sector as one the prospective sectors of cooperation for the two countries,” she said.
The Saudi Crown Prince welcomed her proposal for extending cooperation for mine sweeping in Saudi borders, military training and construction, the prime minister said.
The Crown prince also showed his interest to visit Bangladesh at a mutual convenient time.
Referring to the signing of five Memorandums of Understanding with Saudi business organizagions, the prime minister said Saudi entrepreneurs would invest in cement factory, dye ammonium phosphate factory, Saudi-Bangladesh Special Economic Zone and solar energy and power equipment producing sectors under those MoUs.