When Did Saudi Arabia Recognize Bangladesh

Background Information

Bangladesh became an independent country in the year 1971, after the Bangladesh Liberation War.The independent Bangladesh had to wait almost an entire year before it could expect diplomatic recognition from the many countries of the world. Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has maintained close diplomatic relations with Bangladesh. But when exactly did the Saudi Arabian Government recognize the newly formed Republic of Bangladesh?

Saudi-Bangladesh Diplomacy

The diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh can be traced back to the period after Bangladesh won its independence. In July of 1972, a few months after Bangladesh won its freedom, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the Bangladeshi Government, recognizing the new country. Subsequently, diplomatic relations between the two countries were inaugurated in January of 1973.

Saudi King visits

In February of 1974, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia made a state visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of Bangladeshi President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. During the visit, the king and the Bangladeshi President signed the Riyadh Agreement which declared that the two countries will be permanent friends and vowed to ensure mutual economic, social, and cultural development.

Exchange of Ministers

Saudi Arabia has been a consistent ally of Bangladesh since the early 1970s. In January of 1975, Bangladesh appointed its first Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Nazrul Islam. The same year, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Finance, Mr. Ahmed Zaki Yamani, visited Bangladesh to attend the World Islamic Economic Conference.

Saudi Investment in Bangladesh

Out of the more than 200 countries of the world, Saudi Arabia stands out as one of the biggest investors in Bangladesh. In 2014, the Saudi Investment Bank provided a loan of US$ 250 million to Bangladesh for generating power from coal and gas.

Trade and Remittance

Trade has also played a major role in strengthening the economic relations between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. Many Bangladeshi nationals have been migrating to Saudi Arabia for work; in 2019, Saudi Arabia was the biggest destination for remittance from Bangladesh.

Cultural Exchange

In recent years, more scientific and cultural exchanges have taken place between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. For instance, in 2020, a Bangladeshi delegation comprising of education professionals participated in an international conference held in Riyadh.

Religious Opportunities

As two Muslim majority countries, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia share a close bond. Bangladeshi citizens living in Saudi Arabia are allowed to visit the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. Moreover, Bangladeshi students are also provided with opportunities to receive scholarships from the Saudi government for higher education.

Political Relationship

The political relationship between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia is strengthened by both countries’ commitment to the United Nations and its various offices and agencies. Saudi Arabia also provides a considerable amount of humanitarian aid to Bangladesh, such as medical supplies, relief items, and financial support.

Economic Cooperation

Historically, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have had strong economic ties. In addition to capital investments, Saudi Arabia also imports goods and services from Bangladesh. Recently, the two countries have signed agreements on investment protection and making Saudi Arabia a permanent market for Bangladeshi goods and services.

Military and Security Relationship

Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia work together in many areas of military and security cooperation. For instance, Saudi Arabian forces deployed in UN peacekeeping operations in Bangladesh often train and equip Bangladesh’s armed forces. There is also an agreement between the two countries on combatting terrorism and militancy.

Joint Ventures

In order to promote economic cooperation between the two countries, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have established a joint venture called Beximco-Saudi. This joint venture is engaged in various industrial activities in Bangladesh, and also exports Bangladeshi-made products to Saudi Arabia.


Agriculture is one of the main areas of collaboration between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. For instance, the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture and Water has extended its sectoral support to Bangladesh in areas such as irrigation, livestock and medical plants. The two countries also have cooperation agreements in the field of agricultural research and development.


The two countries also cooperate in the area of healthcare, with Saudi Arabia providing Bangladesh with medical aid and assistance in areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention, vaccination programs and health awareness campaigns. In addition, the two countries are working together to develop new medical technologies.

Infrastructure Development

Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia cooperate on a number of infrastructure projects. In 2018, Saudi Arabia provided a US$ 450 million loan for developing roads in Bangladesh. In addition, the two countries also cooperate on projects to improve water and sanitation infrastructure in the country.


In recent years, Saudi Arabia has been encouraging the growth of tourism in Bangladesh. To this end, the Saudis have established visa exemption agreements with Bangladesh and also provided financial and technical support for developing tourist sites in the country.


Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have formed various bilateral accords in the field of education. For instance, a number of Bangladeshi universities are collaborating with Saudi universities in the areas of research and exchange programs.


Saudi Arabia widely recognized Bangladesh in July 1972, and since then the two countries have cultivated close ties in a variety of fields such as economics, health, infrastructure and agriculture. With an aim to further strengthen ties between the two countries, the governments of Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have signed various agreements and are engaged in frequent mutual visits.

Jose Richard

Jose M. Richard is a journalist and author based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Jose has written extensively on Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region. Jose is passionate about promoting understanding of the region and its people, and his work has been recognised with international awards.

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