Pakistan eyes investment pacts with Saudi Arabia

Pakistan expects to sign investment agreements with Saudi Arabia as crown prince arrives on Friday. 

The government hopes to sign eight agreements with Saudi Arabia during the visit, said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. He was addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday along with Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and Board of Investment Chairperson Haroon Sharif.

“Our relations with Saudi Arabia are entering a new era,” said the foreign minister. Saudi Arabia has helped Pakistan in its difficult times. The prime minister is working hard to improve its two-way relations. “We want our relations with Saudi Arabia to turn into an economic partnership.”

Related: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to arrive in Pakistan on Feb 16

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Saudi Arabia sent a team to Pakistan to evaluate investment opportunities. “Never has such a big foreign delegation ever come to Pakistan,” he said.

He remarked that more investment is coming into Pakistan than it has in the last 10 years.

Abdul Razak Dawood said that Saudi Arabia will invest Rs7 billion investment in Pakistan in the next two years. Saudia Arabia is interested in investing in oil and agriculture, minerals, mines, wind energy in Sindh and Balochistan, RLNGs power plants.

The BOI chairperson said the economic agreements will help create employment opportunities in the country.

Qureshi said that he would leave for Germany on Thursday. “I will have a vital meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, besides meeting with the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, Uzbekistan, and Canada during the Munich Conference.”

On relations with India, he said that it has been Indian policy to diplomatically isolate Pakistan. “But it [India] is facing failures one after the other. And, this is Pakistan’s success that the world is forging ties with it.”