UAE hints at 'huge investment' in Pakistan amid economic turmoil

President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan assures PM Shehbaz Sharif of all-out support to Pakistan

Business Desk
United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (left) and Prime Minister of Pakistan. — Twitter/@CMShehbaz
United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (left) and Prime Minister of Pakistan. — Twitter/@CMShehbaz

  • UAE president arrives in Pakistan on private visit, meets PM.
  • Pak-UAE relations go back many decades, says UAE president.
  • Both sides vow to further strengthen bilateral economic cooperation.

ISLAMABAD: United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has dropped clues his government is planning to broaden its investment footprint in Pakistan — as the country drastically needs foreign inflows to prop up its deteriorating economy.

The royal dignitary arrived in Pakistan on a private visit and held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who received the former at Chandna Airport along with other government functionaries.

"Be prepared, the UAE will make a huge investment in Pakistan," the sources quoted the UAE president as saying during a cordial meeting with the premier at the airport.

PM Shehbaz recalled his recent visit to the gulf country and emphasised that both countries would work on the understanding reached between the two leaders in various fields, during his visit to the UAE.

The UAE president said that the brotherly relations between the two countries went back many decades and his father, who had immense love for Pakistan and its people, laid the foundation of their bilateral ties.

The president also assured the prime minister that the UAE would always stand by Pakistan.

Taking to Twitter, the premier wrote: "Extremely delighted to receive my brother His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed on his arrival in Pakistan, which is his second home. Building on our last meeting, we discussed ways [and] means to further strengthen our brotherly relations."

The president expressed warm affection towards the prime minister on his arrival in Pakistan and took the premier to his personal jet, sources told Geo News.

The premier also met the family members of the president and held conversations with his children in the English and Arabic language, the sources added.

The UAE, on January 12, agreed to lend $1 billion to Pakistan and roll over an existing $2 billion loan, the country's information minister had said, as the country's central bank foreign reserves fell to just three weeks' worth of imports.

The UAE's financial support offered some respite to the country that is still reeling from devastating nationwide floods that have caused more than $30 billion of damage.

The loan announcements came as PM Shehbaz kicked off a two-day visit to the UAE. "This support will help us tide over economic difficulties," the premier said in a statement.

He met the president and discussed business and economic opportunities with other officials and business leaders, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said.

The International Monetary Fund's ninth review to clear the release of a further $1.1 billion tranche of funds to Pakistan has been pending since September, so external financing is crucial for the country's broken economy.

Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to a critical level of $4.3 billion, the bank said, barely enough for three weeks of imports.

Net foreign exchange reserves held by commercial banks stood at $5.8 billion, and total liquid reserves at $10.1 billion, the bank added.