–Saudi Arabia to deposit $3 billion in national exchequer as a balance of payment support, will also provide oil worth $3 billion on deferred payment
–PM, King Salman discuss bilateral issues; Crown Prince MBS agrees to Khan’s suggestion of reducing visa fee
ISLAMABAD: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) finally came to Pakistan’s assistance on Tuesday as it decided to deposit $3 billion in the national exchequer for a period of one year as a balance of payment support and agreed on a one-year deferred payment facility of $3 billion for importing oil.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed between Minister for Finance Asad Umar and his Saudi counterpart, Mohammad Al-Jadaan. It was also decided that the one-year deferred payment facility will be reviewed after three years.
Earlier, a Saudi delegation had visited Pakistan to evaluate the possibility of investing a petroleum refinery in the country. On Tuesday, the kingdom confirmed its interest in the project and n MoU regarding this would be signed after Prime Minister Imran Khan obtains the approval from his cabinet. KSA also expressed interest in the development of mineral resources in Pakistan and the federal government will consult the Balochistan government in this regard. If an agreement is reached, a Saudi delegation would be invited to visit Pakistan.
PM Khan’s visit to the kingdom served as a catalyst for these deals. The premier had been invited by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to participate in the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference which was held on October 22-23.
PM KHAN, KING SALMAN DISCUSS BILATERAL ISSUES:
The premier also held a meeting with King Salman in which they discussed bilateral issues, regional and international situation. Both leaders expressed their desire to strengthen bilateral ties between the countries and also discussed matters of mutual interest, especially trade and investment.
The premier also highlighted the issues faced by Pakistani workers and labourers in the kingdom and Saudi king directed the concerned ministry to resolve those issues immediately.
CROWN PRINCE MBS TO PM KHAN’S SUGGESTION OF REDUCING VISA FEE:
PM Khan also met with Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and the latter agreed to the former’s suggestion of reducing visa fee for Pakistani workers, which is a significant step towards the enhancement of Pakistan’s workforce in the kingdom and would also facilitate travel between both countries.
SAUDI MINISTERS DISCUSS INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES WITH PM KHAN:
Saudi Minister for Finance Mohammad Al-Jadaan, Minister for Commerce and Investment Dr Majed Al-Qasabi and Minister for Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Engineer Khalid Al Falih called on Prime Minister Imran Khan in Riyadh.
During the meeting, the prime minister highlighted investment opportunities in different sectors, including the energy sector, in Pakistan.
The meeting was also attended by Saudi Development Fund Chairman Ahmad Al-Khateeb and Public Investment Fund head Yasir Al-Rumayyan.
PM Khan informed the Saudi ministers about the functioning of the one window operation in Pakistan for the enhancement of foreign and local investment and the facilitation of the business community. A special cell to extend these facilities to the business community had also been established, he added.
The Saudi ministers expressed their deep interest in the economy of Pakistan and discussed projects under bilateral investment.
During the meeting, the progress on matters discussed during Saudi delegation’s visit to Pakistan was also reviewed and it was decided that the Saudi energy minister would visit the country to give final shape to the agreed projects.
PM Khan reached Medina on October 22 where he was received by Governor Prince Faisal bin Salman. After paying a visit to Masjid-e-Nabwi, the premier proceeded to Riyadh. Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz received him in Riyadh.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Finance Asad Umar, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood and Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Haroon Sharif accompanied PM Khan during the visit.