Trade, energy, investment: Pakistan, S Arabia agree to step up cooperation

Muhammad Anis & News Desk
August 16, 2022

The prime minister conveys his deep respects to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (left) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. — APP/ Twitter

RAWALPINDI: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had a telephonic conversation with Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on Monday.

The prime minister conveyed his deep respects to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz. During the telephone call, the Crown Prince congratulated the prime minister and the people of Pakistan on 75th Anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence.

The Crown Prince also conveyed best wishes for the continued progress, prosperity and development of Pakistan. The two leaders also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest. Both the leaders reaffirmed the resolve to further strengthening the strong, longstanding Pakistan-Saudi Arabia fraternal ties.

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The prime minister and the Crown Prince reviewed the progress made on the decisions taken by the two sides during the visit of the prime minister in April 2022. They resolved to expedite the ongoing cooperation in investment, energy and trade fields.

Recalling the historic support extended by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan in time of need, the prime minister thanked the Crown Prince for the economic and development support provided to Pakistan in recent time.

The prime minister reiterated his cordial invitation to the Crown Prince for a state visit to Pakistan, which he graciously accepted.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia decided to extend the period of its $3 billion safe deposit in assistance to Pakistan, a private news channel reported on Monday. According to sources in the Finance Ministry, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will extend its $3 billion safe deposit for one more year adding that three percent interest will be paid for it.

“The safe deposit amount will be liable to be paid back immediately in case of Pakistan’s default,” sources shared. The amount will not be liable to be utilised, sources said. The period of $3 billion safe deposit will likely to be extended up to December 2023, according to sources.

Minister of State for Finance Ayesha Ghous Pasha said that the agreement to renew the deposit period will be decided soon. The brotherly country will also provide $100 million petroleum products a month for 10 months on deferred payment of one billion dollar, as additional support, state minister said.

Pakistan is looking to rein in one of Asia’s highest inflation rates and stave off a current-account crisis, sources said. The sources within the Finance Ministry, recently stated that there are positive indications of an economic package worth $8 billion from friendly countries.



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