Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have closely cooperated in a bid to achieve the common goals of regional peace and stability, including in Afghanistan and Kashmir. They have always stood shoulder to shoulder with each other in difficult times. For instance, during the first Gulf War, Pakistani armed forces guarded the Saudi frontiers. And, after the 2005 earthquake, Saudi Arabia established an air corridor to provide emergency relief to the victims in Kashmir. This traditional spirit of reciprocity continues to manifest in the Pakistani leadership of the 41-member Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism and the upcoming Saudi investment package for Pakistan.

 

The first ever visit by the Saudi crown prince is highly important for Pakistan and its economy,” the BOI chief said. “The bilateral economic and trade ties will be strengthened as a result of this royal visit.” Sharif shared that investment worth over $10 to $15 billion is expected to come into Pakistan. He said 40 major businessmen from the private sector are coming to Pakistan along with the top Saudi dignitaries.

 

“The two countries will sign more than 10 Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) in different fields including oil refinery, petrochemical complex, minerals, alternate energy, oil facility on deffered payments and exchange of prisoners etc,” he said.

 

The BOI chairperson highlighted the significance of the visit. “There are two investment angles of the visit. One pertains to the Saudi government-owned companies like Aramco and ACWA Power that are looking forward to install an oil refinery in Gwadar,” Sharif said.

 

Pakistan is likely to sign a number of investment deals, including the construction of multi-billion-dollar oil refinery in the port city of Gwadar, during Crown Prince Salman’s visit. Saudi Arabia had already pledged a $6 billion package for Pakistan.

 

In the field of alternative energy solar and wind power plants will be installed with estimated investment of $ 2 billion. This is going to be the biggest investment by Saudi companies in Pakistan on commercial basis, said Chairman BOI.

 

“It is likely that an agreement for $ 3 billion oil facility on deferred payments will also be signed during the two day land mark visit of Crown Prince MBS,” he stated.

 

Replying to a question he said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are entering into Geo Strategic plus economic cooperation ties, the government will not have any debt liability or extra burden of loan under the proposed agreements. Saudi companies will make investment purely on rate of returns basis; the government will facilitate them and protect their investment.

 

These kinds of projects normally take five years but technical and feasibility studies will be carried out on fast track basis and Saudi Investment likely to be start within next two years, he hoped.