Riyadh Cables Group eyes business in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is looking to encourage more foreign investment. (AFP)
Updated 19 October 2019

Riyadh Cables Group eyes business in Bangladesh

  • RCGC exports its electricity cables worldwide and the company is the fourth largest electric cable producer in the world

DHAKA: Riyadh Cables Group Company (RCGC), a Saudi cable producer, has expressed interest in expanding its corporate footprint in Bangladesh. A high-powered RCGC delegation completed a 6-day visit to Bangladesh on Thursday.

RCGC exports its electricity cables worldwide and the company is the fourth largest electric cable producer in the world.

The visiting delegation comprising Engineer Moaaz Ali Younes, business development manager at RCGC, and Bassam Maes, the marketing director, visited different government agencies in Dhaka with a view to exploring investment opportunities.

During their meeting with officials of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) on Wednesday, the RCGC delegation expressed potential interest in investing in the overhead electricity cable producing sector of the country.

“We had a successful discussion with the RCGC, although it is still at a primary level. We have briefed them about all the benefits for the foreign investors ensured by the Bangladesh government,” director of BIDA Mohammad Ariful Hoque told Arab News.

Hoque said that after returning to Saudi Arabia the RCGC will move forward with the investment proposal and submit the final idea to the Bangladesh embassy in Saudi Arabia.

“Most probably, it is going to be a joint venture form of investment with the state-owned Eastern Cable Company. If everything goes well, we hope the investment will start coming into Bangladesh by next year,” Hoque said.

“The amount of investment from RCGC is yet to be finalized. However, we can expect it will be around $30 million,” another source from BIDA said, requesting not to be named.

Bangladeshi economists said they welcomed the investment proposal from RCGC, stating it will work as a “confidence builder” and create a “signaling value” among other foreign investors.

Zahid Hussain, former lead economist of the World Bank in Dhaka, said that Bangladesh’s economy was expanding at a very fast rate and there was a huge internal demand for overhead cables for building new transmission and distribution lines.

“This new investment will help the country in rebuilding the image crisis in terms of FDI (foreign direct investment). We are still not doing very well in attracting FDI. If this sort of foreign investment starts coming here, it will definitely boost the economy at a significant level,” Hussain said.

RDIF chief praises Saudi reforms, says Bezos hacking story is ‘Fake News’

Updated 25 January 2020

RDIF chief praises Saudi reforms, says Bezos hacking story is ‘Fake News’

  • Kirill Dmitriev: Investors interested in business opportunities presented by tourism, improved position of women and youth demographic in Kingdom

DAVOS: One of Saudi Arabia’s biggest investment partners has reassured the global community about doing business in the Kingdom and ridiculed the Jeff Bezos accusations of phone hacking.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told Arab News that stories about the apparent hacking of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ phone did “not look plausible at all.
“We in Russia have some experience of phone hacking and this has all the signs of being fake news put about by enemies of the Kingdom.”
Dmitriev, whose organization has channeled investment into Saudi Arabia and partnered with the Kingdom on billions of dollars-worth of joint ventures, said the people he had spoken to in Davos remained in favor of the opportunities presented by Riyadh’s Vision 2030 strategy.
“Lots of people here are positive about the changes going on in Saudi Arabia, both from the West and Asia. They are interested in the business opportunities presented by tourism, the improved position of women and the youth demographic. I’m surprised the Western press does not give the full picture about what is happening in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
While in Switzerland, the RDIF announced a deal to invest in an online tourism platform that would benefit from increased Russian tourism, especially by members of Russia’s big Muslim minority, as well as other potential visitors to Saudi Arabia.
The Bezos allegations, which have been dismissed by Saudi officials as “absolutely silly,” were a hot topic of conversation at the WEF meeting.
A Western executive at a leading Gulf energy company, who declined to be named, said: “Phone hacking and cyber-security is a growing problem in the business world and is not confined to any one country.
“You have to take it all with a pinch of salt. If you’re going to do business in Saudi Arabia you will look at all the pros and cons, and this (the Bezos allegation) is not likely to deter you.”