Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif Departs for Saudi Arabia to Attend World Economic Forum Meeting

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to attend WEF meeting in Saudi Arabia, highlighting Pakistan's priorities on global issues and investment opportunities. He will also travel to the OIC Islamic Summit in The Gambia.

Rizwan Shah
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Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif Departs for Saudi Arabia to Attend World Economic Forum Meeting

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif Departs for Saudi Arabia to Attend World Economic Forum Meeting

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan left for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday to attend a two-day special meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on "Global Collaboration, Growth and Energy for Development" from April 28-29, 2024. The Prime Minister was invited to the meeting by Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud and WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Sharif will present Pakistan's perspective on various global issues, including health, financial technologies, IT, comprehensive development, regional cooperation, and the equitable and sustainable use of energy for global progress. He will also highlight investment opportunities in Pakistan and conduct bilateral meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the event.

The Prime Minister is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar and Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb. They will participate in WEF discussions on trade, investment, supply chain restructuring, sustainable growth, and the energy environment.

Why this matters: The World Economic Forum meeting provides a platform for Pakistan to showcase its priorities and engage with global leaders on key issues. Prime Minister Sharif's participation underscores Pakistan's commitment to regional cooperation and sustainable development.

Around 1,000 leaders from business, government, and academia will attend the WEF Special Meeting, which will focus on new pathways to reinvigorate growth globally amid the challenges posed by an increasingly fragmented geopolitical and economic environment. The high-level participation will provide an opportunity for Pakistan to present its priorities in global health architecture, inclusive growth, regional collaboration, and balancing growth and energy use.

After the WEF meeting, Prime Minister Sharif will travel to Banjul, The Gambia to attend the 15th session of the Islamic Summit Conference organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on May 4-5, 2024. At the summit, he plans to address issues concerning the Muslim world, including the situation in Gaza, Islamophobia, and terrorism.

Prime Minister Sharif's visit to Saudi Arabia comes amid rising tensions with India over its claims on the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, which Pakistan rejects as fueled by hyper-nationalism and a threat to regional peace and stability. Pakistan has also recently decided to establish a special force for the security of foreigners in the country, following extremist attacks targeting foreign nationals.

Key Takeaways

  • PM Shehbaz Sharif to attend WEF special meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on April 28-29, 2024.
  • Sharif to present Pakistan's perspective on global issues and highlight investment opportunities.
  • Delegation includes FM Dar and FM Aurangzeb to discuss trade, investment, and sustainable growth.
  • After WEF, Sharif to attend 15th Islamic Summit Conference in Banjul, The Gambia on May 4-5, 2024.
  • Visit comes amid tensions with India over Kashmir and security concerns for foreigners in Pakistan.