DHAKA- Bangladesh expects Saudi Arabia to invest $35 billion in infrastructure projects, its finance minister said on Thursday after meeting a visiting Saudi delegation.

He did not give a time frame but bilateral trade was currently only $1.4 billion a year, Saudi Commerce and Investment Minister and delegation head Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi said.

Ties between impoverished Bangladesh and oil-rich Saudi Arabia, both Muslim-majority countries, have strengthened in recent years and officials have agreed to form a joint council to consider investment.

"We are here to explore all possibilities to expand business and investment, and I can assure you that we want to become the true partner of Bangladesh in developing trade and investment," Qasabi said.

Bangladesh Finance Minister A.H.M. Mustafa Kamal said the projects would be in roads, rail, power and energy, tourism and hospitality, health, textiles, food processing and pharmaceuticals.

Last year the South Asian country received $2.6 billion in remittances from 2.8 million of its citizens working in Saudi Arabia.

(Reporting by Serajul Quadir; Editing by Nick Macfie) ((serajul.quadir@thomsonreuters.com; +880 2 8332062; Reuters Messaging: serajul.quadir.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))