October 01, 2018
ISLAMABAD - A high-level Saudi Arabian delegation Sunday landed here for bilateral trade talks.
The delegation led by Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan is expected to sign five important memorandums of understanding with Pakistan. The prospects of setting up oil refineries in Gwadar would come under discussion as well, as per the sources.
The delegation will hold meetings at different high-level offices during its stay. “It will also hold talks on promotion of bilateral ties and economic and trade cooperation,” the sources said.
Though this could not be confirmed but the Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had earlier said that the delegation will include Saudi Arabian investment head, minister for petroleum and minister for energy.
The visit is in line with previous government announcement pertaining to Islamabad’s invitation to Riyadh for making investments in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative as well as other infrastructure projects countrywide.
During its six-day visit to Pakistan, the delegation will also sign a MoU to make investments in Balochistan’s Reko Diq gold and copper mines. The sources said that agreements to privatise two liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants and sale of phosphate-containing fertilisers to Pakistan by Saudi Arabia are also expected to be signed.
Few days earlier, during a press conference, Fawad Chuadhry said, “The kingdom has expressed interest in investing with us for CPEC projects as well as infrastructure development and to that end is bringing major investments here.”
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia lately signed three MoUs for grant projects in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in health and education sectors. Secretary Economic Affairs Division Syed Ghazanfar Abbas Jilani and CEO Saudi Fund for Development signed the MoUs on behalf of their respective governments.
Parliamentary Secretary for Information, Jaweria Zafar Ahaheer said that Saudi Arabia’s plan to invest billions of dollars in Pakistan was ample proof of Saudi Government’s trust in the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Pakistan would play a mediator role between Iran and Saudi Arabia and dialogue are the solution of all problems, she said.
A senior government official said that Pakistan was rapidly becoming the best destination for investment with improved security and favourable business climate backed by strong macro-economic indicators.
As per reports, the Saudi Arabian officials are also expected to sign an agreement to sell petroleum products to Pakistan on deferred payments.