Saudia Arabia considers its relationship with Bangladesh in political, economic and religious affairs very important, said Ahmed Al-Fehaid, deputy minister for international affairs in the Ministry of Labor.
Al-Fehaid addressed the concluding session of the Saudi-Bangladesh 10th Joint Commission in Riyadh yesterday.
The talks focused on economic and trade opportunities between the two countries.
Al-Fehaid also expressed the hope that the meeting would give opportunities to identify new areas of cooperation for mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
The meeting of the commission, which took place after a lapse of four years, was co-chaired by Deputy Minister for Economic Relations Abdul Kalam Azad and Saudi Deputy Minister for International Affairs in the Ministry of Labor.
The Bangladesh team comprised 15 senior government officials.
Azad, head of the Bangla delegation, acknowledged the support toward Bangladesh by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
The two sides agreed that the 11th session of the Joint Commission would be held in Dhaka in 2014.
Bangladesh Ambassador Mohammed Shahidul Islam told Arab News yesterday that the talks were mainly on areas of cooperation such as health, labor, education, trade and other matters of mutual interests.
Islam said the participants were divided into two technical committees to deal with security and social affairs, finance and investments.
“The meeting was aimed at securing tangible benefits for both parties in terms of their economies, trade, investment, education, culture, human resource development, health, agriculture, manpower cooperation and other areas,” Islam said.
Al-Fehaid said the two countries could forge ahead in bilateral relations through such discussions.
The visiting official said there are investment opportunities in various sectors in Bangladesh whose economy recorded an annual growth rate of over 6 percent in spite of multiple crisis and climate change issues.
“The government is determined to further increase growth and sustain it to make Bangladesh a middle-income country,” he said.
Efforts are underway, he said, to develop strong regional connectivity with roads, railways and waterways with a view to taking advantage of the unique strategic location of the country between south and Southeast Asia and proximity to China, with the potential to become the economic hub of the region.