Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will be visiting Islamabad from February 16 to 17 and it is expected eight memorandums of understanding (MoUs) will be signed between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
“With the visit of Prime Mohammad bin Salman, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are going to witness an unprecedented level of closeness based on solid economic integration,” said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during a news conference on Wednesday.
The foreign minister told reporters MOUs would be inked in diverse sectors including investment, finance, power, renewable energy, internal security, media, culture and sports.
Qureshi said a high-powered Saudi delegation including key ministers and over 20 businessmen from leading companies would hold meetings with their counterparts in Pakistan and discuss the potential of bigger investment between the two countries.
He added that a Pak-Saudi Coordination Council would be set up following the visit where Prime Minister Imran Khan would personally lead monitoring of the implementation of MoUs.
The foreign minister mentioned that Saudi Arabia had recently transferred $3 billion to Pakistan under balance of payments and also promised for deferred oil payments.
Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain terming Saudi Arabia strong and trusted friend of Pakistan said the Kingdom always had helped the latter in testing times. He added this was for the first time after former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that Pakistan had attained immense success at diplomatic front.
‘Plans for $7 billion investment in power sector’
Advisor to Prime Minister Abdul Razak Dawood said Saudi Arabia had plans for $7 billion investment in the power sector for two years besides $2 billion in renewable energy including solar and wind projects.
On the Saudi interest to explore Pakistan’s oil refinery sector, he said the feasibility study by their experts on petrochemical complex and hydrocracking could take up to 12 to15 months.
Dawood said Pakistan was in high need of refined oil products, for which Saudi Arabia had shown willingness to meet the needs of local oil market with an investment of $2 billion for two years in addition to investment in Pakistan’s mining sector.
BoI Chairman Haroon Sharif said Saudi Arabia had comprehensive long-term stakes in Pakistan.
Following the visit of Saudi crown prince, the BoI would remain in constant touch with their Saudi counterparts on the technical level, he said.
He mentioned that Saudi Arabia was planning to develop two new cities in the Kingdom and the situation would encourage the Pakistani workforce to be accommodated in diverse jobs.