Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are likely to ink an agreement of over $1 billion in the days ahead in the oil sector through the Saudi Development Fund, a Saudi news channel said on Wednesday.
“The coming days will witness the signing of an agreement between the Kingdom and Pakistan through the Saudi Development Fund for Development with an increase of one billion dollars,” Nawaf Al-Maliki, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Pakistan, was quoted as saying by the Saudi Al-Khabaria channel. The Saudi Press Agency earlier in a report said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had directed to study augmenting Saudi Arabia’s investments in Pakistan, which have previously been announced on August 25, 2022 and were slated to reach $10 billion.
The SPA said the crown prince also directed the Saudi Development Fund to study increasing the amount of the deposit provided by Saudi Arabia in favor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). This has been extended on December 2, 2022 to hit a $5 billion ceiling, the agency said.
The Saudi official news agency said the move strengthened the Kingdom’s position to support the economy of Pakistan and support its people. The report pointed that the move followed communication between the crown prince and Shehbaz Sharif. The two countries enjoy strong strategic relations and Saudi Arabia was among the first countries to recognize and support Pakistan when it came into existence in 1947.
Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif expressed gratitude to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on announcement of $1 billion at climate conference held in Geneva. “Pakistan sincerely thanks Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for Saudi Arabia’s generous announcement of $1 billion at the Resilient Pakistan Conference,” he said in a tweet.
The prime minister said, “We are immensely grateful for his decision to consider increasing Saudi investment up to $10 billion and deposits with State Bank of Pakistan to $5 billion,” he said. In another tweet, Shehbaz Sharif also thanked President World Bank David Malpass for pledging $2 billion for the post-flood recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation at Resilient Pakistan Conference in Geneva. He mentioned that the World Bank is a longtime development partner of Pakistan.