The Businessmen Panel (BMP) for Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday said Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) visit to Pakistan on 16th February helps to start a new era of economic prosperity in the country and it is expected as round $20 billion investment agreements will be signed which will be a new push in the FDI sector of Pakistan.
Chairman BMP, Mian Anjum Nisar said Saudi Arabia has always stood with Pakistan in difficult times and the Pakistani government and the business community highly acknowledge it,”
He said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed close relations, primarily because of religious ties. Both countries are affiliated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The Saudis have been very generous when it comes to providing aid to Pakistan. For example, when a devastating earthquake hit Balochistan in 2005, Saudi Arabia supported Pakistan with $10 million in humanitarian aid. Moreover, when floods swept across Pakistan in 2010 and 2011, Saudi Arabia granted Pakistan $170 million for relief operations and reconstruction activities in the affected areas.
Anjum Nisar said currently an estimated 1.9 million Pakistanis reside in Saudi Arabia. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are major providers of jobs for Pakistanis abroad – remittance payments being a key source of foreign currency for the Pakistani treasury.
On the trade front, many efforts have been made but it couldn’t materialised on its optimum potential. Pakistan’s main imports from Saudi Arabia consist of crude oil and oil-based products.
In return, Pakistan’s export includes rice, meat products, spices, kinnow’s, textiles, chemicals, footwear, and leather goods. The total value of bilateral trade is around $2.5 billion which needs to be increased as there is a huge potential to increase Pakistan exports to K.S.A.
In January 2018, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan pledged to strengthen their economic ties with a preferential trade agreement that would fit in with Crown Prince Vision 2030.
He also viewed the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his commitment of ensuring transparency in Pakistan are the reasons behind much ambitious foreign investment in the country from our brotherly countries.
Secretary General (Federal), Ahmad Jawad said Pakistan and Saudia Arabia have a long rooted ties based on decades, and this is first time that Saudia Arabia is intend for a big investment in Pakistan which reposed a confidence on the incumbent government credibility internationally and it starts new era of prosperity and economic stability in Pakistan.
Jawad said massive Saudi investment in Pakistan will enhance opportunities for both Saudi and Pakistani merchants to boost bilateral trade between both the Muslim brother countries.
Riyadh investments are expected to provide a lifeline for the economy which was downgraded in early February.
“Saudi investment to Pakistan comes within an economic aid package aimed at relieving the stress of external debt and a shortage of foreign currency, besides boosting the sluggish economy,” Jawad said
Similarly kingdom is to get secure market share and sustainable exports in the face of international competition and its investment will be expanding.
He further suggested that MOU must be signed between FPCCI and the Council of Saudi Chambers on this visit, so that interaction between businesses may strengthen further.