Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have signed a number of investment deals worth $20 billion at the start of a two-day visit to the South Asian country by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In the presence of the Crown Prince and Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, seven bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed. They are related to: an MoU on technical cooperation; an agreement to finance the supply of crude oil and petroleum products to Pakistan; an MoU to finance power generation projects; an MoU to study investment opportunities in the refining and petrochemical sectors in Pakistan; an MoU related to mineral resources in Pakistan; an MoU on developing renewable energy projects; and a cooperation agreement in the field of sport.
Prince Mohammed arrived in Islamabad yesterday (Feb 17) on an official visit to Pakistan. At Khan Military Base Airport, he was received by Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan; Commander of the Pakistani Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa; Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Al-Malki, and Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz.
A bilateral meeting was held between the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister, during which Prince Mohammed conveyed the greetings and appreciation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. On his part, the Prime Minister extended his greetings and appreciation to the King.
The Crown Prince and the Prime Minister of Pakistan also chaired the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council at the Presidential Palace in Islamabad. During the meeting, they reviewed the historical relations between the kingdom and Pakistan, the prospects of bilateral cooperation between the two countries and the opportunities to develop them, in addition to discussing the latest developments and situations on the Islamic and international arenas and efforts exerted towards them.
In his speech during a dinner banquet, Prince Mohammed stressed that Pakistan is a very dear country to King Salman and the Saudi people. He also stressed the strength of the strategic relations between the two countries and the desire to strengthen and deepen this relationship in all fields.
He added that Pakistan's GDP growth during the last year was 5 per cent. "So, we believe that Pakistan will be a very prosperous country in the future and we want to make sure that we are part of that boom.”
Pointing at the signing of MoUs between the two sides, he said: “We believe that the amount of investment of $20 billion is large for the first phase and will certainly grow each month and every year for larger numbers.”
Speaking on the Saudi tourism sector, the Crown Prince said: “Today, we have 18 million tourists and we will achieve 50 million tourists quickly and easily in the coming years. We have many heritage and beautiful places, infrastructure and stability. We have everything, including funds to invest in tourism.
"We believe in our region and therefore we invest in it and we are sure that we will have one day a great Middle East,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the visit of the Crown Prince to his country, stressing the deep relations between the two countries in all fields. He described Saudi Arabia as a true friend who stands with Pakistan in all circumstances.
He stressed that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are now taking this relationship to a level which was never seen before.