At the invitation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Saudi Arabia to participate in the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference that kicked off in Riyadh on Tuesday. During the high level talks held on the sidelines of FII, it was agreed that the Kingdom will provide Pakistan with up to $3 billion in deferred payments for oil imports for one year, Pakistan's government said in a statement on Tuesday
Khan is accompanied, during the visit, by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Ahmed, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, and Chairman of the Board of Investment (BoI) Haroon Sharif.
During the visit, Prime Minister Khan had detailed bilateral discussions with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who agreed to the premier's suggestion to reduce visa fee for Pakistani workers, which is a significant step toward enhancing Pakistan's workforce in the Kingdom and facilitating travel of people from both countries.
Far-reaching decisions on bilateral economic and financial cooperation were also agreed. These included the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the ministries of finance in the two countries, where it was agreed that Saudi Arabia will give Pakistan $3 billion as a balance of payment support for a year.
The statement noted that the earlier visit to Islamabad by a Saudi delegation had provided the opportunity to evaluate the possibility of investing in a petroleum refinery in Pakistan, where Saudi Arabia confirmed its interest in the project and a MoU will be signed after obtaining cabinet approval. Saudi Arabia also expressed interest in developing mineral resources in Pakistan. For this purpose, a Saudi delegation will be invited to visit Pakistan after consultations between the federal government and the government of Balochistan.
Following the opening of the three-day FII conference, a Pakistan-specific session was organized, in which Prime Minister Khan underlined his country's priorities toward optimizing the economy and attracting foreign investment.
Stressing the focus of his government on human resource development, Khan highlighted the potential of Pakistan's youth, identified lucrative investment opportunities in the tourism sector, minerals, coal and gas exploration, and information technology.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said successes have been achieved in the fight against terrorism, citing the peace and stability in the country. He added that this has elaborated the significance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), including the investment opportunities in the Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
Source: International Islamic News Agency