Now is the right time to sign the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the top trade organization of the country, thinks that both countries should consider this matter seriously.
FBCCI’s business delegation held a meeting with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Saudi Arabia on Monday (06 November). At this time, FBCCI raised the need to sign a free trade agreement for the sake of expanding trade between the two countries.
FBCCI President Mahbubul Alam said that business and trade patterns are changing all over the world. Along with that, new challenges are coming up. After graduation of LDC by 2026, Bangladesh will also face several challenges. In such a situation, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia should take the initiative to sign FTA (Free Trade Agreement) now, to take advantage of integrated supply chain and meet the challenges of the future.
Referring to Saudi Arabia as one of Bangladesh’s labor force export destinations, the FBCCI president said that Saudi Arabia has currently taken strong steps in high-tech infrastructure development and industrial diversification. At this point they will need a huge skilled workforce. Meanwhile Bangladesh is now going through the benefits of “demographic dividend”. That is, the country has a large number of active, experienced and skilled young manpower in science and technology. Urge the Saudi government to expand employment opportunities for skilled young workers of Bangladesh in various sectors.
In the meeting, Mahbubul Alam called on the businessmen and entrepreneurs of Saudi Arabia to establish the proposed Saudi Arabia Special Economic Zone in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City. He also invited Saudi investors to set up industries in other economic areas of the country.
It was informed in the meeting that Saudi Arabia has investment potential in several sectors including environment-friendly energy, infrastructure, car parts, chemicals, food processing, information and communication technology, artificial intelligence and robotics in Bangladesh.
At this time, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry assured cooperation to Bangladesh in the development of port management. Besides, they will help in organizing the Branding Bangladesh Expo to introduce Bangladeshi products in Saudi Arabia, they said.
FBCCI Vice President Md. was also present at this time. Khairul Huda Chapal, Md. Rashedul Hossain Chowdhury Roni, Md. Munir Hossain, director. Habib Ullah Don, Hasina Newaz, Khandaker Ruhul Amin, Munal Mahbub, Md. Ali Hossain Shishir, Md. Enayet Ullah, BM Soheb, Sahidul Haque Molla, Fakhrus Salehin Nahian, Salma Hossain Ash, Md. Amir Hossain Noorani, Md. Faizur Rahman Bhuiyan, Syed Mohammad Bakhtiar etc.