Saudi leadership backs PM's proactive vision

‘Your mission is our mission,’ Investment Minister Al-Falih tells Shehbaz; describes him ‘man of action’

News Desk April 28, 2024
Managing Director of IMF calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of a special meeting of the World Economic Forum on April 28, 2024. PHOTO: PID


The Saudi Arabia’s leadership and investors conveyed to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday that their commitment to the development and advancement of Pakistan aligned closely with his own, hailing his proactive leadership as exemplary.

During a packed schedule in Riyadh, the prime minister engaged with various dignitaries, holding discussions with a cohort of Saudi ministers and a delegation of investors from Saudi Arabia, besides talks with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

During these meetings on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Saudi ministers and investors told Shehbaz that his mission of the development and progress of Pakistan was a mission of their own, as they praised his leadership by terming him the “man of action”.

Shehbaz held separate meetings with Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih, Finance Minister Mohammad Al Jadaan, Industry Minister Bandar bin Ibrahim Alkhourayef and Adviser at the Royal Court and General Secretary of Saudi-Pak Supreme Coordination Council Mohammed bin Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri.

“We are all aware of your performance and speed of work,” Investment Minister Al-Falih told the prime minister. “Your mission is our mission,” he added, highlighting their full support for the prime minister in advancing his mission of progress in Pakistan.

While acknowledging Shehbaz’s commitment to reviving Pakistan’s economy through massive reforms and foreign investment, Al-Falih declared the prime minister as the “man of action”, a remark similar to the title of “Shehbaz Speed” given to the prime minister by a Chinese leader a few years ago.

Read more: PM Shehbaz to attend special WEF meeting in Riyadh today

Saudi Finance Minister Al Jadaan, meanwhile, told the prime minister that a delegation of Saudi investors would visit Pakistan soon. “Pakistan is a priority for investment and Saudi Arabia will continue to fully cooperate in the fields of agriculture, information technology and energy,” Al Jadaan said.

During the meeting, the minister added that Saudi Arabia would explore opportunities of investment in Pakistan. He reaffirmed Saudi support for the economic progress of Pakistan, saying: “Progress of Pakistan is the progress of Saudi Arabia.”

Al Jadaan lauded the role of Pakistani workers in the progress of Saudi Arabia in different fields. He also informed the prime minister that the Saudi government took difficult decisions for reforms at the government-level regarding its Vision-2030.

In a meeting with Industry Minister Alkhourayef, Shehbaz said that the economic conditions of Pakistan had improved due to the support and assistance of Saudi Arabia. He thanked King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for supporting Pakistan in difficult times.

Alkhourayef expressed keen interest in collaboration with Pakistan in agriculture, mining, information technology and other areas. He said that he was in contact with the Saudi private companies regarding investment in Pakistan and the representatives of these companies would visit Pakistan soon.

Earlier on Saturday, a Saudi delegation, led by Adviser at the Royal Court and General Secretary of Saudi-Pak Supreme Coordination Council Mohammed bin Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri met with the prime minister soon after his arrival in Riyadh.

Also read: PM calls upon bridging gap between Global South and Global North in health sector

During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways to further promote and facilitate Saudi investment in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Shehbaz expressed Pakistan’s desire to benefit from successful reform policies of Saudi Arabia to strengthen Pakistan’s governance structure on modern lines.

Al-Tuwaijri, who is also associated with Saudi Vision-2030, told the prime minister that after the visit of the Saudi foreign minister’s delegation to Pakistan, work had begun on a priority basis on Saudi investment in Pakistan.

He also briefed the prime minister on the Vision-2030. He said that every possible assistance would be provided to train Pakistani workforce and government officials under Vision. “Saudi Arabia wants that bilateral economic relations progress in line with Saudi Vision 2030,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday, Shehbaz discussed a new loan programme with IMF chief Georgieva, with focus on sustaining the gains made over the past year and consolidating that the country’s economic growth trajectory remained positive.

“Both sides also discussed Pakistan entering into another IMF programme to ensure that the gains made in the past year are consolidated and its economic growth trajectory remains positive,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

During the meeting, according to a Radio Pakistan report, Shehbaz reiterated his government’s commitment to put Pakistan’s economy back on track. He said that he had directed for structural reforms, strict fiscal discipline and prudent policies to ensure sustained economic growth.

The IMF chief appreciated the prime minister’s leadership for timely securing the SBA last year. She shared her institution’s perspective on the ongoing programme with Pakistan, including the review process. Shehbaz also invited her to visit Pakistan at her convenience, according to Radio Pakistan.

Also on the sidelines of the WEF in Riyadh Shehbaz held separate meetings with Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Dr Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser.

In the meeting, the Kuwaiti amir expressed his desire to work closely with Pakistan to transform bilateral ties into a mutually beneficial economic partnership that would serve the best interests of the peoples of both countries.

During the meeting with the IDB president, the prime minister discussed with him the progress on different projects in Pakistan. Both sides agreed to early completion of different IDB’s development projects in the country.

Shehbaz informed the IDB president about his government’s efforts for fast tracking foreign investment, removal of concerns of foreign investors and provision of one-window operation and the working of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

The IDB president observed that Pakistan was blessed with abundant natural and water resources and its huge manpower source could be fully utilised. Dr Al Jasser also prayed for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.



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