Lauds country's growth, assures continued support from the Kingdom

Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, on Wednesday said that there are a lot of opportunities in Bangladesh-Saudi Arabia relations, noting that the ties are already strong.

"We see many opportunities. We want to make our ties stronger. Sky is the limit, and the ties are already very strong. We have a lot of opportunities," he told reporters when asked whether they see any challenges in the relations.

The Saudi minister, who had a meeting with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam at the state guesthouse Padma, said the two countries also have good cooperation in the area of investment, and that the Saudi minister for Investment will be visiting Bangladesh soon to promote further investments here.

Dr Tawfiq said he was thoroughly impressed to see Bangladesh's development and economic growth, and his country will continue to work together with Bangladesh for further development.

"I am truly impressed with the development that Bangladesh is witnessing," he said, noting that Bangladesh is a fast growing economy in South Asia and that his country is aware of Bangladesh's 2041 goals.

He said Saudi Arabia will continue to help Bangladesh so that it can see further development and grow.

The Saudi minister mentioned that they are hosting nearly 3 million Bangladeshis, the largest expatriate community in the kingdom.

"We are here to facilitate Bangladeshis to come and visit Makkah and Madinah. We made so many changes," he said.

Umrah visa has been extended to 90 days from 30 days, so that Bangladeshis can visit any city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"The process is very simple and very efficient," he said, adding that there are initiatives that will allow Bangladeshi citizens to book everything from one site.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh has always stood beside Saudi Arabia on strategic issues. "We are working together on many fronts."

He said there are some significant positive changes in Hajj management, making it almost hassle-free, and that Bangladesh is also grateful to Saudi Arabia for hosting nearly 3 million Bangladeshis.

"We hope that we can continue to help the KSA by sending hard-working human resources," said the state minister.

Shahriar Alam said they discussed business cooperation and ways to showcase Bangladesh in a greater way to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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