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Tuesday Oct 23 2018
Web Desk

Saudi Arabia to provide $3bn to Pakistan as balance of payment support

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD/RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will provide Pakistan with a deposit of $3 billion for a period of one year as "balance of payment support", a statement from Prime Minister Imran Khan's office said Tuesday.

"It was agreed that Saudi Arabia will place a deposit of USD 3 Billion for a period of one year as balance of payment support," the statement said.

"It was also agreed that a one year deferred payment facility for import of oil, up to USD 3 Billion, will be provided by Saudi Arabia. This arrangement will be in place for three years, which will be reviewed thereafter."

The development comes as Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Riyadh where the prime minister launched a charm offensive targeting potential investors as Pakistan seeks to secure funds amid a yawning balance of payment crisis.

Apart from attending the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference, the Pakistani premier also met with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to discuss matters of mutual interest.

According to the statement, the visit by the Pakistan premier to the kingdom has resulted in significant understandings between the two countries.

Far-reaching decisions on bilateral economic and financial cooperation were also agreed during the meetings with Saudi leadership, the statement said.

The crown prince agreed to Khan's suggestion to reduce visa fee for Pakistani workers, which is a significant step towards enhancing Pakistani workforce in Saudi Arabia, as well as facilitating travel of people from both countries.

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's approval, the statement said further.

The kingdom expressed its interest in investing in a petroleum refinery in Pakistan, and an MoU will be signed after obtaining cabinet's approval. The earlier visit of the Saudi delegation had evaluated the possibility of investing in the project.

Saudi Arabia also expressed interest in development of mineral resources in Pakistan, the statement added. For this purpose, the federal government and the Balochistan government will hold consultations, after which a delegation from Saudi Arabia will be invited to visit Pakistan.

Earlier today, a Pakistan-specific session was organised after the inauguration of the FII Conference, in which the prime minister underlined Pakistan’s priorities towards optimising the economy and attracting foreign investment.

Stressing the focus of his government on human resource development, he highlighted the potential of Pakistan’s youth, identified lucrative investment opportunities in the tourism sector, minerals, coal and gas exploration, and information technology.

Khan 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 (CPEC), including investment opportunities in special economic zones.

The prime minister also took several questions from the audience comprising hundreds of business entrepreneurs.


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