| Shehbaz Sharif urges Saudis to invest in Pakistan’s various sectors | Asks world community to help refugee-hosting developing countries
ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Monday urged Saudi investors to come forward and invest in the different sectors of Pakistan.
Talking to a delegation of Saudi businessmen and investors here, the premier said that Pakistan has huge potential for investment in diverse fields, including agriculture and minerals. He said Saudi Arabia and Pakistan enjoy excellent brotherly relations and both the countries should transform their mutual cooperation into economic partnership.
The prime minister said Saudi Arabia always extended support to Pakistan on economic and diplomatic fronts. Shehbaz Sharif also reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to enhance bilateral cooperation with Saudi Arabia in different sectors including trade and investment.
The meeting was briefed that Pakistan is an emerging country in terms of investment potential with many facilities for business and making safe investment. There are ample opportunities for trade and investment in tourism, minerals, textiles, leather and other sectors.
The meeting was further told that investment can be made in the oil refinery industry in Gwadar, where Saudi investors also shown keen interest. It was agreed at the meeting that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will accelerate progress in trade and investment and in this regard the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia Joint Working Group would also be activated.
A high-level delegation of Saudi business investors lead by Mr Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Bash, Chairman of the Saudi-Pakistani Business Council and Nawaf Bin Saeed Maliki, Ambassador of Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan attended the business conference held at PM Office Islamabad. The federal minister and chairman Board of investment Chaudhary Salik Hussain along with secretary Board of investment thanked this esteemed high level VVIP business delegation for visiting Pakistan.
The Minister said that this business meet-up, and following meetings in Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad & Karachi, will provide a dynamic platform for furthering Pak-Saudi Business to Business and Government to Business linkages besides offering us the opportunity to interact and explore new vistas of mutual cooperation including trade & investment opportunities.
The minister highlighted that the Saudi Pakistan Business Council, is playing a crucial and constructive role in providing conducive platform to promote business to business (B2B) interactions between the Pakistani and Saudi business communities. This visit will surely pave way to form formidable economic alliances and facilitate Pakistan-Saudi business growth. The Minister and Secretary BOI acknowledged that Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salam projected his Vision-2030 aimed at diversification of Saudi economy away from the traditional oil-based approach. In this context, Pakistan is keen to join hands with the Kingdom and reduce its excessive reliance on imported oil plan for a sustainable economic future.
The visit of this high-level business delegation is the first step towards this direction. Addressing the participants the minister said that there are ample opportunities for Saudi investors in multiples sectors of Pakistan’s economy, especial tourism, coal & gas exploration, agriculture, food processing, mining, renewable energy, refinery, petrochemicals and information technology sectors, to invest with 100% equity or through joint ventures in various fields. Repatriation of investment and profit are allowed with legal protection provisioned under the Acts of Parliament to protect foreign investment.
Meanwhile, the delegation of Saudi Arabia visited Pakistan led by Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Bash, Chairman, Saudi-Pak Business Council and held B2B meetings with the members of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) in a local hotel to explore business collaborations in areas of interest. The delegation was representing various sectors including edible oil & fats, food processing, trading, building materials, tourism & hospitality, manufacturing, medical tools & equipment, Fintech, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure services. The delegation would also visit Lahore and Karachi.
Speaking at the occasion, Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Bash, Chairman, Saudi-Pak Business Council said that the Saudi investors were keen to leverage business and investment opportunities in Pakistan. He stressed that the high-level government-to-government relations between the two countries should be matched with strong trade relations to achieve better results. He urged that the private sectors of both countries should tap business opportunities in each other’s country in order to complement their economies. He said that 20 percent of the workforce in Saudi Arabia was from Pakistan and his country wanted to import more trained workers from Pakistan. He said that many sectors of the Saudi economy including chemical industry, real estate and tourism offered good opportunities to Pakistani investors. He said that they have seen a lot of business opportunities in Pakistan and were working with the embassies of both countries to leverage them up to maximum level. He said that exhibitions of Saudi products in Pakistan and Pakistani products in Saudi Arabia would be organized to introduce the export potential of both countries. He hoped that the visit of the Saudi trade delegation to Pakistan would help in further promoting bilateral trade between the two countries.
Addressing the delegation, Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pakistan offers great opportunities of JVs and investment in various sectors of its economy including mines & minerals, oil & gas, housing & construction, infrastructure development, renewable energy, information technology, food processing, edible oil, logistics, sports, tourism & hospitality. He stressed that Saudi investors should capitalize on them to earn lucrative returns. He said that the Saudi delegation should also explore textile, agriculture, construction materials, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, fruits & vegetables, dry fruits, consumer goods, agro-processing technologies, machinery & equipment and other sectors for business opportunities. He stressed that it was the right time for Saudi investors to focus on Pakistan for JVs and investment.
Khalid Iqbal Malik, Chairman Founder Group briefed the Saudi delegation members about the investment opportunities in CPEC and stressed that they should exploit them for business development. He said that Saudi Arabia had agreed in principle to establish a multi-billion-dollar refinery complex in Gwadar that should be transformed into a reality.
PM urges world community to help refugee-hosting developing countries
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has called for renewed policy focus and arrangement of resources to address the suffering of refugees across the world.
In a tweet on World Refugees Day, on Monday, he termed refugees as “the worst victims of wars and conflicts” besides poverty and economic inequality.
The Prime Minister called for global efforts to help the developing countries which continue to host large number of refugees.
He urged the international community to help developing countries who continue to host a large number of refugees.
Meanwhile, UN Refugees Agency has appreciated Pakistan for its generosity in hosting refugees for more than forty years.
Quoting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s tweet on World Refugee Day on Monday, UNHCR recognized and thanked Pakistan for its services in hosting refugees.
Our non-Muslim citizens are part & parcel of our national fabric. I have approved the establishment of a task force on the rights of minorities. This body will oversee the implementation of measures about the rights of minorities & present quarterly report to me.
MNAs call on PM
Amir Haider Khan Hoti, leader of Awami National Party (ANP) and Member of the National Assembly, Monday called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
During the meeting, they discussed the current political situation and the issue of the relevant constituency, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.
Separately, members of the National Assembly Chauhdary Faqir Ahmad, Ayesha Rajab Ali, Shagufta Jumani, Sohail Khan and former senator Agha Shahzeb Durrani also called on the prime minister.