Saudi Foreign Minister Visits Pakistan to Boost Economic Ties and Discuss Regional Issues

Saudi FM's visit to Pakistan aims to strengthen economic ties, with $5B in investments planned. Discussions also cover regional developments and the Palestinian crisis. The visit highlights the deep-rooted partnership between the two nations.

Hadeel Hashem
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Saudi Foreign Minister Visits Pakistan to Boost Economic Ties and Discuss Regional Issues

Saudi Foreign Minister Visits Pakistan to Boost Economic Ties and Discuss Regional Issues

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud concluded a two-day visit to Pakistan on April 16, 2024, aimed at strengthening bilateral economic cooperation and discussing regional developments. The visit was a follow-up to the understanding reached between Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to enhance strategic and economic partnership between the two countries.

During his meetings with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, Prince Faisal conveyed the Kingdom's commitment to expediting investments in Pakistan. The two sides agreed on a roadmap to accelerate Saudi investments in various sectors, including energy, renewables, connectivity, mining, agriculture, IT, construction, and human resource development.

The Saudi delegation, which included several ministers and senior officials, was briefed on the legal, procedural, and administrative reforms undertaken by Pakistan to attract and facilitate foreign investments. Prime Minister Sharif informed the delegation about the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) and its initiatives to promote investment in Pakistan .

Why this matters: Saudi Arabia has been a key economic supporter of Pakistan, providing oil on deferred payments and direct financial assistance to help stabilize its economy. The new Pakistani government is eager to attract more Saudi investment, both from the public and private sectors, to drive economic growth and development.

The two Foreign Ministers also discussed the escalating situation in the occupied Palestinian Territories and stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Prince Faisal criticized the international community's failure to bring peace to the region and the lack of humanitarian aid reaching Gaza.

In addition to economic cooperation, the visit highlighted the deep-rooted fraternal bonds between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. President Zardari expressed Pakistan's desire to transform the decades-old relationship into a long-term strategic and economic partnership. The Saudi Foreign Minister underlined the importance of Pakistan for the Kingdom and reiterated their resolve to build a strong partnership for mutual benefit.

In a press conference following the meetings, Prince Faisal expressed confidence that the results of this visit and the ongoing engagements between the two countries would deliver significant benefits for both nations. "The visit was very positive and productive, and the engagements have laid the framework for important work in the coming months to achieve the potential that exists," he said.

Key Takeaways

  • Saudi FM visited Pakistan to strengthen economic cooperation and discuss regional issues.
  • Saudi Arabia committed to invest $5 billion in Pakistan across various sectors.
  • Pakistan briefed Saudi delegation on reforms to attract and facilitate foreign investment.
  • The visit highlighted deep-rooted Saudi-Pakistan ties and desire to build strategic partnership.
  • Saudi FM expressed confidence that the visit will deliver significant benefits for both nations.