Saudi FM’s visit sparks economic optimism of $25bn investment in Pakistan

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud’s visit to Pakistan has sparked optimism for enhanced economic cooperation between the two nations, with significant investments on the horizon.

Addressing a joint press conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad, Prince Faisal highlighted the importance of bilateral relations and the kingdom’s commitment to deepening ties through new avenues. He praised Pakistan’s proactive approach, especially in facilitating investments, and expressed confidence that the visit would yield substantial benefits for both countries.

The visit follows Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Makkah, where agreements were made to expedite a $5 billion Saudi investment package for Pakistan. Over the next five years, Saudi Arabia plans to invest $25 billion in various sectors including energy, IT, minerals, defense, and agriculture.

PM Shehbaz emphasised the need for close collaboration to fast-track the implementation of Saudi investments. He highlighted the significance of bilateral relations and the mutual commitment to economic cooperation.

During the meeting, the importance of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was highlighted, with PM Shehbaz shedding light on the support of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir and other institutions in promoting investment through SIFC.

President Asif Ali Zardari also met with the Saudi delegation, reaffirming the resolve to strengthen economic cooperation for mutual benefit. President Zardari praised the visionary leadership of the crown prince and Saudi Arabia’s progress under Vision 2030.

The Saudi foreign minister reciprocated the sentiment, emphasising the critical nature of relations with Pakistan and the kingdom’s commitment to a strong partnership. Both sides discussed regional dynamics, expressing concern over the situation in Gaza and calling for an immediate ceasefire.

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