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Saudis offered PIA, airports, joint ventures to build five-star hotels

First Woman Bank, Matiari Transmission Line are also put on the table: Dar says Pak-Saudi partnership is vital for regional peace: Saudi FM briefs President, PM on investment plan for Pakistan

By News Desk

April 16, 2024 01:11 PM


Saudi FM briefs President, PM on investment plan for Pakistan

PM Shehbaz Sharif in a meeting with Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud at PM House.

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Pakistan has offered the visiting high-level Saudi delegation privatization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and airports along with joint ventures to build two five-star hotels in Islamabad, reported 24NewsHD TV channel, quoting its sources.

The offers were placed before the Saudi delegation led by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud during the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) meeting held in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The visiting Saudi delegation consists of Saudi Minister of Water and Agriculture, Eng. Abdulrahman Abdulmohsen AlFadley; Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar Ibrahim Alkhorayef; Assistant Minister of Investment, Ibrahim bin Yousef Al-Mubarak; Head of Saudi Special Committee, Mohammed Maziad Al-Tuwaijri; and senior officials from Ministry of Energy and Saudi Public Investment Fund.

According to the sources, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, military leadership, apex committee members also attended the SIFC meeting held at a private hotel in the federal capital.

As per the proposal regarding building two five-star hotels, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) will provide the land and Saudi Arabia will arrange the investment.

The sources further divulged to the TV channel that the Saudis were also offered to buy First Woman Bank and Matiari Transmission Line.

Addressing the SIFC meeting, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar declared that Pakistan-Saudi partnership is extremely important and there are vast opportunities for investment in Pakistan’s agriculture, minerals, IT, energy and other sectors.

“Our partnership is vital for mutual interests and regional peace,” Dar said and added investing in Pakistan would be beneficial for both countries.

Dar said the Saudi investment in Pakistan would not only strengthen the deeply valued partnership but also make a sterling contribution to regional peace and stability. He said the incumbent government’s goal was to transform Pakistan into a hub for economic activity and innovation creating an attractive environment for global investors, particularly those from Saudi Arabia.

Dar assured the delegation that the Saudi investment in Pakistan was not just the placement of capital rather it would prove to be instrumental for mutual progress and prosperity. He reaffirmed that the Saudi investment in Pakistan would be handled with the utmost respect and through institutionalized mechanisms.

Dar told the gathering that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia shared deep-rooted ties anchored in rich Islamic heritage and mutual strategic interests and the Saudi delegation’s visit underscored a deep and abiding connection between the two countries.

The foreign minister said a longstanding and time-tested friendship with Saudi Arabia was a significant element of Pakistan’s foreign policy with an aim to transform the traditionally fraternal ties into a strategic economic partnership.

Dar told the delegation that the SIFC platform intended to streamline processes and ensure rapid decision-making and efficient handling of investments. The Council has a central role in augmenting infrastructure, streamlining regulatory framework and ensuring the swift processes to attract foreign direct investment to Pakistan.

Dar said Pakistan was endowed with fertile agricultural land, a dynamic population, mineral wealth, a vibrant IT sector and abundant prospects for renewable energy like solar, hydro and wind.

He said Pakistan’s fertile land presented numerous opportunities in agriculture technology and food processing. A vast network of water resources creates the prospects for Pakistan to become the region’s food basket.

Furthermore, he said the country’s mining sector was marked by untapped potential, especially in the Tethyan Belt known for copper, gold and valuable minerals.

He said through collaborative efforts, the bond between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia was set to strengthen and emphasised that both sides should seize the abundant opportunity ahead.

Saudi FM briefs President, PM on investment plan for Pakistan

Earlier, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and members of his delegation in their meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday agreed to further strengthen ties between the two countries in different sectors.

Quoting its sources, the TV channel reported that in meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari, the Saudi delegation congratulated him on becoming the president of Pakistan for the second time.

On the occasion, members of the delegation briefed the president in detail about their plan to invest in Pakistan.

The president in return, the sources informed, assured the delegation of the government’s complete support in this regard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG2Rdj8qXhY

Similarly, in a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the Saudi delegation exchanged views with him over matters of mutual interest.

Earlier, PM Shehbaz Sharif received Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud. The prime minister expressed his deep appreciation for the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and conveyed his sincerest wishes to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
Shehbaz Sharif underscored the significance accorded by Pakistan to its longstanding fraternal, economic and strategic relations with Saudi Arabia. He said both countries had always stood together at all times.
While recalling his warm and productive meeting with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Makkah earlier this month, Shehbaz Sharif stated that the visit of the Saudi delegation led by the foreign minister, immediately after his visit, was a manifestation of the strong commitment of both countries to the strengthening of bilateral relations focused on mutually beneficial economic cooperation.
In this regard, the prime minister said that both sides needed to work closely to expedite the first phase of Saudi investment in Pakistan under the new arrangement.
Shehbaz Sharif informed the delegation about the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) and its initiatives to promote investment in Pakistan. He also highlighted the key role of Chief of the Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir and the cooperation of all institutions for the promotion of investment in the country through SIFC.

The Saudi foreign minister expressed gratitude for the warm welcome accorded to his delegation and highlighted that Saudi Arabia attached high importance to its strong and close ties with Pakistan. The foreign minister also conveyed the Kingdom’s commitment to an enhanced strategic and economic partnership with Pakistan.

The escalating situation in the occupied Palestinian Territories was also discussed during the meeting.

The Saudi delegation, led by the country’s foreign minister, had arrived in Pakistan yesterday.  

 

Reporter: Awais Kiani


News Desk


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