ISLAMABAD: Coming to Pakistan’s rescue amid its dwindling economic situation, Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide Pakistan US$3 billion for one year as balance of payment support.
“PM Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia has resulted in significant understandings between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” the Foreign Office stated in a press release.
An MoU was signed by Finance Minister Asad Umar and his Saudi counterpart under which Riyadh will place a deposit of US$3 billion for a period of one year as balance of payment support.
It was also agreed that a one year deferred payment facility for import of oil, up to US$3 billion, will be provided by Saudi Arabia. This arrangement will be in place for three years, which will be reviewed thereafter.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia has confirmed its interest regarding investing in a petroleum refinery in Pakistan. An MoU will be signed after obtaining cabinet approval.
Saudi Arabia has also expressed interest in development of mineral resources in Pakistan. For this purpose, the federal government and the government of Balochistan will consult, following which a delegation of Saudi Arabia will be invited to visit Pakistan.
The agreements between the two countries were signed during a visit by Prime Minister Imran Khan to Riyadh on the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, where he met King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
Khan also attended a Saudi Arabian investment conference where the newly minted leader launched a charm offensive targeting potential investors as Pakistan seeks to secure funds.
The Crown Prince agreed to the Prime Minister’s suggestion to reduce visa fee for Pakistani workers, which is a significant step towards enhancing Pakistan’s workforce in Saudi Arabia, as well as facilitating travel of people from both countries.
During the visit, the Prime Minister had detailed bilateral discussions with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
After the inauguration of the Future Investment Initiative Conference, a Pakistan-specific session was organized, in which the Prime Minister underlined Pakistan’s priorities towards optimizing the economy and attracting foreign investment.
Stressing the focus of his government on human resource development, Imran Khan highlighted the potential of Pakistan s youth, identified lucrative investment opportunities in the tourism sector, minerals, coal and gas exploration, and information technology.
He mentioned the successes of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, which has brought peace and stability to the country and elaborated the significance of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.