Bangladesh-KSA Energy Task Force: How Will It Contribute to Bilateral Cooperation?

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Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have a friendly and close relationship since their diplomatic relations were established in 1975. Understanding between the two nations and a strong feeling of brotherhood define the relationship between these two countries. Both nations have similar perspectives on a wide range of regional and global challenges. The cooperation between the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and other international and regional forums has been reinforced by these common goals, viewpoints, and brotherly relationships. Growing bilateral partnerships in the areas of commerce, investment, defense, culture, education, and manpower have strengthened pre-existing ties. The Kingdom is now one of Bangladesh’s most significant bilateral partners, and the dynamics of the relationship have developed through time from one-dimensional to multidimensional collaboration. Bangladesh, which has focused on the “Middle East,” particularly Saudi Arabia, to increase trade between the two countries and work together economically. Bangladesh is also trying to work together with the top 10 Arab or Middle Eastern countries in at least 12 areas to deal with the current power and energy crisis, the effects of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia were focusing on energy cooperation with the ongoing global energy crisis created by the nuances from the Russia-Ukraine war. According to numerous news statements, the advancements on a joint energy task force resulted from the two-day 14th Joint Commission conference conducted between the two nations on October 30-31 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Riyadh. The main two stakeholders of the task force were only Saudi and Bangladeshi ministers. The ministers from both nation in the 14th Joint Commission conference further suggested that there should be more trade between the two countries and that economic ties should be strengthened with other Middle Eastern countries, especially Saudi Arabia.  In the talks, it has been suggested that there should be more trade between the two countries and that economic ties with Saudi Arabia should be strengthened. Bangladesh further sought assistance from Saudi Arabia and discussed the possibility of collaboration in the areas of development, agriculture, medicine, and health education, as well as in the provision of humanitarian assistance. Additionally, Bangladesh has offered Saudi Arabia land for an exclusive economic zone, which would encourage additional Saudi investors to Bangladesh.

– Aishwarya Sanjukta Roy Proma is a Research Intern at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA).

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