ISLAMABAD - Saudi Arabia on Tuesday agreed to place a deposit of $3 billion with Pakistan for one year as balance of payment support, besides providing a one-year deferred payment facility of up to $ 3 billion per year for the import of oil for three years. The decisions came following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia and his successful talks with the Saudi leadership. Saudi Arabia also confirmed its interest in the oil refinery project in Pakistan, the PM Office said here in a statement.
Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman agreed to the Prime Minister’s suggestion to reduce visa fee for Pakistani workers, which is a significant step towards enhancing the country’s workforce in Saudi Arabia, as well as facilitating travel of people from both the countries The Prime Minister was accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Finance Asad Umar, Minister for Information Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood and Chairman Board of Investment Haroon Sharif.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia has resulted in significant understandings between the two countries. He visited Saudi Arabia at the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, to participate in the Future Investment Initiative Conference on October 22-23.
During the visit, Prime Minister had detailed bilateral discussions with King Salman and the Crown Prince. Far-reaching decisions on bilateral economic and financial cooperation were also reached, which included:
– A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Finance Minister Asad Umer and Saudi Finance Minister Muhammad Abdullah Al-Jadaan under which Saudi Arabia would place a deposit of USD three billion for a period of one year as balance of payment support.
It was agreed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would also provide a one-year deferred payment facility for import of oil, up to USD three billion and this arrangement would be in place for three years, which would be reviewed thereafter. – The earlier visit of the Saudi delegation had evaluated the possibility of investing in a petroleum refinery in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia confirmed its interest in this project, and an MoU will be signed after obtaining cabinet approval. – Saudi Arabia 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 the Kingdom will be invited to visit Pakistan.
Today (October 23), after the inauguration of the FII conference, a Pakistan-specific session was organized, in which the Prime Minister underlined the country’s priorities towards optimizing the economy and attracting foreign investment.
Stressing the focus of his government on human resource development, the Prime Minister highlighted the potential of Pakistani youth, and 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 had brought peace and stability to the country. He also elaborated the significance of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), including the investment opportunities in the special economic zones. The Prime Minister also took several questions from the audience comprising hundreds of business entrepreneurs. The Prime Minister had arrived in Madina Munawara on Monday, where he was received by Prince Faisal bin Salman, Governor of Madina.
After Ziarat-e-Khas at Masjid-e-Nabwi (Peace Be Upon Him), the Prime Minister proceeded to Riyadh, where he was received by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Riyadh.