Pakistan says Saudi prince to visit, sign investment deals

The crown prince at the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Pakistan on Feb 16 and 17. Mohammad bin Salman will be accompanied by a high-powered delegation including other members of the royal family key ministers and leading businessmen

The Saudi prince, often referred to as MBS, will be accompanied by a high-powered delegation, including members of the royal family, key ministers and leading businessmen.

He will also meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.

At the heart of the investment is a reported $10-billion refinery and oil complex in the strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea, the ultimate destination for the massive multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Responding to a question, if Pakistan would pay the price in return to Saudi investment such as becoming part of military coalition against Yemen, Foreign Minister Qureshi strongly dismissed the notion, saying, "I say it loud and clear that there is no condition attached with Saudi investment".

The crown prince will call on President Arif Alvi.

He said Pakistan's relations with Saudi Arabia have witnessed improvement in recent months.

The United Arab Emirates, a staunch Saudi ally, has recently also offered a $6 billion package to Pakistan.

In October, Riyadh said it would lend Pakistan $3 billion in cash and allow Islamabad to defer payments for oil imports worth $3 billion for a one-year period to support the country's ailing economy.

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Qureshi said that the government wanted to rid the country of begging bowl.

Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain terming Saudi Arabia strong and trusted friend of Pakistan said the Kingdom always had helped the latter in testing times.

It will also send a strong message to other global investors to come to Pakistan, said Haroon Sharif, who chairs Pakistan's Board of Investment, (BoI) which promotes and facilitates investors.

Prime Minister's Adviser Razak Dawood said that Saudi Arabia had plans for $7 billion investment in the power sector for two years, besides $2 billion in renewable energy, including solar and wind projects.

The minister said that Riyadh also want to invest in food and agricultural sectors, while details regarding oil refinery can not be made public.

Prime Minister s Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood hoped that more than 22 industrialists would also be accompanying the Saudi Crown Prince during his visit.

The luxury vehicles were transported to Islamabad from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia via a C-130 aircraft which landed at Nur Khan airbase in the capital.

He mentioned that Saudi Arabia was planning to develop two new cities and the situation would encourage Pakistani workforce to be accommodated in diverse jobs. It will be the crown prince's first visit to Pakistan since he was appointed heir to the throne in 2017.

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