Sunday December 10, 2023

Pakistan Refinery likely to get Saudi investment for expansion

BOI says the Saudi government will evaluate shovel-ready projects, including the expansion project of Pakistan Refinery

March 25, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia is likely to invest in the expansion of Pakistan Refinery, as the Kingdom’s investment minister on Thursday agreed that his government would take a decision on the refinery plan after evaluating viability of the project.

The decision was taken at a meeting between the minister of state and chairman Board of Investment (BOI), Muhammad Azfar Ahsan and Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Investment, Khalid Al-Falih in Tashkent.

“It was agreed that shovel-ready projects, including the expansion project of Pakistan Refinery, will be evaluated by Saudi government,” a BOI statement said.

Both sides discussed the plan for devising a long-term strategy to create an atmosphere of investment facilitation in both countries and vowed to strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties.

They underscored the need for increased collaboration and investment in various sectors, including agriculture, food processing, mining, renewable energy, refinery, petrochemicals, information technology, etc, and vowed to strengthen business and economic ties.

The Saudi minister expressed the need for more significant mutual investments in different fields and proposed to create a joint team between BOI and NCPP to finalise investment projects in Pakistan.

BOI chairman briefed the Saudi investor in detail about the investment regime of Pakistan. He shared that Pakistan was taking measures to increase both savings and investment to augment the employment-generating ability of the economy and raise resource availability for investment.

Falih was also apprised by the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) report, which illustrates that a vast majority of investors in Pakistan were optimistic about the growth potential of the country and ranked it better than 6 out of 10 regional countries in terms of investment opportunities and growth.

Ahsan sensitised the Saudi minister about measures taken by BOI to reduce the compliance burden in the SME sector and briefed about the Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative (PRMI). He also mentioned the special incentives offered to investors in special economic zones (SEZs) with an overall objective to accomplish economic and industrial development goals.

Saudi Arabia’s investment minister was highly appreciative of the initiatives introduced by the government of Pakistan to facilitate investment in the country.

He invited the BOI team to visit Saudi Arabia and relevant stakeholders to market investment projects from the public and private sector and shared that he would soon visit Pakistan to provide an impetus to bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries.

National Companies Promotion Program (NCPP) CEO Badr Al Badr, ACWA Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan, and Saudi Ambassador in Uzbekistan were also present in the meeting.