ICCI lauds Saudi Arabia’s decision to fast track initial tranche of $5b investment

ISLAMABAD  -  President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari has highly appreciated Saudi Arabia’s decision to fast track the initial tranche of $5 billion investment in Paki­stan. It is important to mention here that the decision has been taken in a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in Makkah the other day. Last year Saudi Arabia had promised to invest $25 billion within next 5 years under the Special Investment Facilita­tion Council (SIFC) seeking investment in energy IT, minerals, defence and agri­culture sectors from the Arab countries.

Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari in a state­ment said that along with sitting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the last visits of COAS General Asim Munir, Care­taker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and Caretaker Finance Minister Dr. Gohar Ejaz played a significant role in materializing the deal. He said that Saudi Arabia has always played a sup­portive role for strengthening Paki­stan’s economy and people’s welfare in general. Adding that it is crucial for both Pakistani and Saudi businessmen to determine areas of complementarity and comparative advantage between the two countries. The chambers of commerce on both ends need more fre­quent interaction and a framework for required legal reforms, which will en­sure a smooth return on investments.

Furthermore, Pakistan-Saudi trad­ers’ exhibitions should take place in major cities to market resources and attract FDI into Pakistan. A free trade agreement is also possible. Ahsan Za­far Bakhtawari added that business community of Pakistan especially the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry is determined to stimulate the business and commercial activities in Pakistan with the coordination of inter­national partners to make the country a paradise for foreign investors.

He said that there are huge trade op­portunities between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The current economic and po­litical environment has made Saudi Ara­bia an important partner for economic development and lucrative market for exports of Pakistan. There are huge po­tentials available for Pakistan to enhance its trade and investment ties with Saudi Arabia in textile, pharmaceutical, rice, leather, seafood, dairy farming and other sector which need to be explored for en­hancement of Pakistan’s exports to Saudi Arabia. He concluded the statement by saying that Saudi Arabia has always stood shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in difficult times and that this time also the Saudi investment will go a long way in pulling the cash stashed Pakistan to come out of the prevailing economic mess.

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