Pak, KSA set to take forward economic partnership

KSA delegation led by foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah arrives; likely to hold high-level meetings with President, PM, Army Chief on various investment initiatives.

ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are set to embark on new horizons of bilateral economic partnerships through investments in various development sectors as a high-level Saudi delegation led by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah touched down in Islamabad on a two-day visit to Pakistan.

Upon arrival at the at Noor Khan Air Base, the Saudi Foreign Minister was received by Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and other senior officials, setting the tone for what promises to be a series of significant discussions to enhance bilateral cooperation and foster a mutually beneficial economic partnership.

The delegation comprises Saudi Minister of Water and Agriculture Eng Abdul Rahman Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadley, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Ibrahim AlKhorayef, Deputy Minister of Investment Badr AlBadr, Head of Saudi Special Committee Mohammad Mazyed Al Towaijri, and senior officials from Ministry of Energy and Saudi Fund for General Investments.

The delegation represents a spectrum of Saudi leadership invested in strengthening ties with Pakistan. Also in attendance are senior officials from the Ministry of Energy and the Saudi Fund for General Investments, underlining the breadth and depth of the engagement. During their stay in Pakistan, the Saudi delegation will hold meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Syed Asim Munir and apex committee of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

These discussions are expected to further solidify the already robust ties between the two nations. “The visit takes place essentially to expedite followup on the understanding reached between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Mohammad bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, during their recent meeting in Makkah Al Mukarramah to enhance bilateral economic cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” the Foreign Office said in a statement issued here.

“This visit is aimed at lending positive impetus to enhanced bilateral cooperation and mutually rewarding economic partnership,” it was further added.

During the PM Shehbaz’s visit, Saudi Arabia had doubled down on its pledge to speed up the initial phase of their $5 billion investment in Pakistan.

Government sources have expressed optimism about the visit, highlighting its potential to enhance Pakistan’s economic landscape. The investment of $7 billion is anticipated to have far-reaching implications, not only for Pakistan’s economy but also for attracting further foreign investment.

A statement issued by state-run Pakistan Television said the timing of the visit was “very important” and the Saudi team’s arrival itself is a “manifestation of mental harmony, mutual trust and cooperation between the leadership of both countries and the same determination for the development of both countries”.

The statement said export capacity will increase, joint ventures will be launched, new opportunities will be paved and the achievement of the SIFC’s objectives will be advanced, along with bringing more speed and confidence to the economy.

Pakistan is hoping to attract billions of dollars in investment from Saudi Arabia as part of its initiative under the banner of the SIFC, a civil-military forum aimed at removing bottlenecks and other bureaucratic hurdles hindering foreign investment.

Islamabad is offering Saudi investors stakes in the multi-billion-dollar Reko Diq mine projects.

The SIFC was established to tackle the country’s economic challenges through foreign investment. Pakistan aims to attract $70 billion in investment from Gulf countries over the next 3 to 5 years.

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