High-level Saudi delegation arrives for investment talks

Visit aims to fast-track implementation of agreements made between PM Shehbaz and Saudi crown prince

Kamran Yousaf April 15, 2024
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud was received by Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar at Rawalpindi’s Nur Khan Airbase on April 15. PHOTO: MOFA


A high-level Saudi delegation, led by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud arrived here on Monday as part of efforts by Pakistan to attract investment from Riyadh.

The delegation comprises key ministers and senior officials arrived in Pakistan on the heels of a visit by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Riyadh earlier this month where he held wide-ranging talks with the Saudi leadership.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directed his senior cabinet ministers to urgently travel to Islamabad to explore the potential areas for investment. Pakistan is giving high importance to the visit as Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar received the Saudi delegation at the Noor Khan Air Base.

“The visit is aimed at lending positive impetus to enhanced bilateral cooperation and mutually rewarding economic partnership,” said readout of the Foreign Office. It further read that the visit took place essentially to expedite the follow-up on the understanding reached between Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and the Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, during their recent meeting in Makkah to enhance bilateral economic cooperation.

Read more: Saudi FM to visit Pakistan for bilateral economic cooperation

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long-standing fraternal relations marked by religio-cultural affinities, it adds. “The people of Pakistan hold the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the highest esteem,” according to the Foreign Office.

During its stay, the Saudi delegation is expected to engage in meetings with the president, the prime minister, the foreign minister, and relevant ministers, as well as the chief of army staff and the apex committee of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

The visit is anticipated to provide a significant boost to bilateral cooperation and foster a mutually beneficial economic partnership between the two nations. Pakistan is hoping to attract billions of dollars in investment from Saudi Arabia as part of its initiative under the banner of the SIFC.

Islamabad is offering Saudi investors stakes in the multi-billion-dollar Reko Diq mine projects. Similarly, the SIFC is keen for Saudis to invest in the agricultural sector. The sources indicated that the Saudi delegation would receive detailed presentations on the potential areas of investment.

Pakistan requires injection of billions of dollars if it wants to meet its external liabilities and avoid repeatedly turning to international financial institutions for bailouts. Islamabad is eager for investments to commence sooner rather than later, to boost foreign reserves and stimulate economic growth.

The SIFC was established to tackle the country’s economic challenges through foreign investment. Pakistan aims to attract $70 billion in investment from the Gulf countries over the next three to five years.


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