During a recent trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Salman Fazlur Rahman, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Private Industry and Investment, sought extended credit terms to alleviate Bangladesh's pressing dollar crisis.
This request was made to facilitate longer payment periods for fuel imports from Saudi Arabia, a critical concern given the current financial constraints.
In a press briefing held on Tuesday at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) building upon his return, Rahman shared insights from his three-day visit. “Currently, we have a 45-day window to settle payments for fuel imports from Saudi Arabia. Given the dollar scarcity, extending this to a year would greatly benefit us. The Saudi officials have agreed to consider this proposal,” Salman disclosed.
Salman represented Bangladesh at the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) meeting, emphasizing Bangladesh’s firm stance against terrorism and the misuse of Islam to justify such acts. “Terror has no religion, and by fostering cooperation among Islamic nations through the IMCTC, we aim to combat the defamation of Islam by terrorism,” he said.
The advisor highlighted the unanimous condemnation of the ongoing crises in Gaza by meeting participants, alongside a collective call for resolution. The plight of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh was also addressed, with a commitment to seek solutions.
On the economic front, Rahman revealed Saudi investors’ interest in establishing a special economic zone in Bangladesh. “We are keen to allocate an economic zone to Saudi Arabia within Bangladesh. Their investment minister has shown enthusiasm for this project,” Salman noted.
Additionally, plans are underway to bolster Bangladesh’s agricultural sector through the joint establishment of a urea fertilizer plant in Saudi Arabia.
“This collaboration aims to ensure a steady supply of fertilizers, enhancing our agricultural output. The proposal has been warmly received, with a feasibility study due to conclude by March,” he explained, highlighting the opportunity for private sector involvement alongside government-to-government initiatives.