Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the concession agreement on operation of Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) between Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) and Saudi Arabia's company Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) will help further enhance Saudi investment in Bangladesh.
"This concession agreement is a testament to our two countries' joint vision and steadfast commitment to economic cooperation and prosperity," she said.
The prime minister along with Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al Falih witnessed the signing ceremony at her office here as CPA Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Sohail and CEO of RSGT Jeans O. Foley inked the agreement.
The Saudi minister earlier paid a courtesy call on the Bangladesh premier at her office in the morning.
"As we witness the signing of this concession agreement, we look forward to a future where Patenga Container Terminal will become a driving force for economic growth and prosperity in Bangladesh," Sheikh Hasina said at the signing ceremony.
She said that the RSGT will operate the Patenga Container Terminal for the next 22 years that will strengthen bilateral relations, especially in the field of trade and commerce.
The Chittagong Port Authority's Patenga Container Terminal Project is a beacon of hope for Bangladesh's economic uplift, she added.
The premier said this self-reliant modern terminal will enhance the capacity of port, facilitate seamless trade, and create job opportunities and entrepreneurship.
"It will act as a gateway to global trade, opening up new opportunities for our businesses to connect with the world," she said.
The terminal will help boost regional economic growth as India, Bhutan and Nepal can also use the terminal, she also said.
Sheikh Hasina said the investment of Saudi Arabia in the Patenga Container Terminal will enhance the image of Bangladesh on the global stage.
The prime minister described Saudi Arabia as a friendly country and an important development partner for Bangladesh.
"The people of Bangladesh have deep respect and trust for the people of Saudi Arabia. We have always found Saudi Arabia close to our hearts," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the RSGT is a reputed global terminal operator designated by the Saudi government.
She also expressed her sincere thanks and congratulations to the Saudi government for appointing this terminal operator to operate the Patenga Container Terminal.
"This initiative of the Saudi authorities is undoubtedly a recognition of the ongoing development and economic potential of Bangladesh," she said.
"I hope that RSGT, with its reputation for managing Jeddah port and other terminals, will manage the Patenga container terminal with its skills and technical know-how," she added.
By doing this, the head of the government said the Chittagong port operations will become more efficient and meet international standards.
"Consequently, our economy will benefit from a significant decrease in import-export expenses," she said.
The premier also expressed her deep gratitude to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, for their trust and cooperation with the government and people of Bangladesh.
She thanked to the Saudi investment minister and his delegation for their firm support in the implementation of this project.
"Your commitment to the economic development of Bangladesh is deeply appreciated," she said.
PM's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al Falih and Chairman of the RSGT Aamer A. Alireza spoke at the function as State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury delivered the opening remarks.
Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh Essa bin Yousuf Al Duhailan as well as Saudi and Bangladeshi businessmen were present.