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Friday, May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024

Saudi minister: Pakistan is a high-priority investment opportunity

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Saudi Investment Minister Ibrahim Al-Mubarak emphasizes Pakistan’s potential as a prime economic partner at an Islamabad conference

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have deepened their economic and diplomatic ties, with recent high-level engagements promising significant investments in Pakistan’s key sectors. On May 6, 2024, a two-day investment conference began in Islamabad, showcasing the enthusiasm of a 50-member Saudi delegation led by Saudi Assistant Minister of Investment Ibrahim Al-Mubarak. The conference, focused on strengthening business-to-business relationships, is a critical step in the Kingdom’s commitment to expanding its global economic footprint, especially in Pakistan.

Al-Mubarak, in his opening speech, emphasized the Kingdom’s belief in Pakistan’s economic potential, citing its strategic location, natural resources, and human capital. The conference is aimed at creating partnerships between Saudi companies in fields like IT, energy, agriculture, and mining and their Pakistani counterparts. With recent government-to-government agreements in place and the promise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s upcoming visit, the conference signals a new era of cooperation. Pakistan’s federal ministers highlighted their focus on fostering favourable conditions for foreign investment, especially with the establishment of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), a body designed to attract foreign interest in critical sectors.

Arab News:

An article from *Arab News* detailed the ambitions of both countries to establish strong business partnerships. Al-Mubarak conveyed that Pakistan is a high-priority investment opportunity for Saudi Arabia. He praised Pakistan’s potential, calling it a prime destination for investment due to its resources and demographics. The conference was a platform for Saudi companies to connect directly with Pakistani businesses, opening doors to explore regulatory frameworks and investment incentives. Pakistan’s Petroleum Minister Dr. Musadik Malik emphasized that 125 Pakistani companies were negotiating with visiting Saudi counterparts.

Commerce Minister Jam Kamal Khan expressed optimism about joint ventures and collaboration across sectors like energy, IT, and construction. He reiterated that this is just the beginning, with a Pakistani delegation scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia to advance these partnerships. The Kingdom pledged a $5 billion investment package, reaffirmed during Prime Minister Sharif’s April visit to Riyadh, where he met with Saudi leaders to discuss economic partnerships. The close bilateral ties between the two nations, particularly in trade, defence, and remittances, have a solid foundation that makes these new economic initiatives promising.

Geo News:

In its analysis, *Geo News* highlighted Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s expected visit to Islamabad between May 10 and 15. This significant diplomatic visit aims to finalize the $5 billion investment deal across various sectors. The Saudi delegation’s visit included 30 major companies exploring opportunities in agriculture, energy, and IT. Prior engagements between the two nations laid the groundwork for these investments, reinforced by earlier meetings between Sharif and Saudi leadership. The trip marks Prince Salman’s first visit to Pakistan since 2019, showing Saudi Arabia’s renewed commitment to strengthen ties.

A Saudi delegation, led by Deputy Investment Minister Ibrahim Al-Mubarak, arrived ahead of the crown prince to ensure smoother negotiations. The Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan also recently visited Pakistan, underscoring the Kingdom’s intent to facilitate Pakistan’s economic growth.

Samaa TV:

Samaa TV reported on the investment conference, emphasizing the optimism of the Saudi delegation. Al-Mubarak underscored Saudi Arabia’s view of Pakistan as a favourable investment destination, expressing confidence that major Saudi companies could contribute to Pakistan’s growth. Federal Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb lauded Pakistan’s stable currency and rising foreign reserves while emphasizing economic reforms. He stressed the importance of continuity in policies to sustain economic stability and highlighted the role of the Special Investment Facilitation Council.

Commerce Minister Jam Kamal noted the positive climate for investors and emphasized efforts to ensure successful negotiations between both countries. The SIFC’s National Coordinator, Lt. Gen. Sarfaraz Ahmed, reinforced the strategic relationship between the two nations, emphasizing Pakistan’s role as a global trade hub and its potential as a key partner for Saudi Arabia. The conference underscored the mutual dedication to fostering economic ties, translating this shared vision into concrete actions that benefit both economies.

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