Pakistan, Saudi Arabia review investment projects signed in February

A general view of Gwadar port in Gwadar, Pakistan, October 4, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 06 September 2019

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia review investment projects signed in February

  • Saudi deputy minister of energy meets Pakistan’s commerce minister and BoI chief
  • The two sides review progress on investment in energy, petroleum and mining sectors

KARACHI: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Thursday discussed ways to expedite work on the Kingdom’s investment projects pledged under the $21 billion deals signed between the two countries in February this year.
A Saudi delegation headed by the Kingdom’s Deputy Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid bin Saleh Al-Mudaifer met Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and Chairman Board of Investment (BoI) Zubair Gilani to review progress on the implementation of investment projects.
“The visiting Saudi delegation held discussions to expedite projects in energy, petroleum and mining sectors,” a BoI official, who declined to be named, told Arab News.
During the meeting, the Saudi “delegation appreciated the progress on the investment front made during the previous year and described it as more the combined progress of the last ten years,” the official added.
Pakistan has also offered Saudi investors to explore investment opportunities in power sector which has already been identified for privatization.
Saudi Arabia is also interested in the mining sector, especially in the mineral resources of the country’s southwestern Balochistan province. “Mining in Balochistan is a provincial subject but the BoI has assured full support to Saudi investors. Where the potential exists, the BoI will support the implementation of projects,” the official informed.
Faced with energy shortage, Pakistan is taking steps to increase the share of renewable energy in its total energy mix which is dominated by fossil fuel at present. “During the meeting it was also decided to speed up the progress on the project for renewable power generation in Balochistan,” the official said.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had signed seven investment agreements during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official visit to Islamabad in February this year.
These consist of a mega oil refinery that will be constructed in Pakistan’s Balochistan province for $11 billion and will house a petrochemical complex project in Gwadar deep-sea port.
The proposed mega oil refinery and petrochemical complex to be set up by Saudi Arabia will help Pakistan with technology, skill enhancement and human capital development. It will also result in employment generation and development of downstream, allied sectors.


Riyadh gears up for Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan on stage 

Updated 17 min 45 sec ago

Riyadh gears up for Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan on stage 

  • Two of Pakistan’s most famous singers are set to perform in the Saudi capital on Oct. 25
  • Both artists have also received immense fame across the border, and have millions of Indian fans

ISLAMABAD: The South Asian diaspora in Riyadh is gearing up to welcome two famed vocal talents from Pakistan, Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, in the Saudi capital on Oct. 25.
The news was reported in a Twitter post on Saturday, by Saudi Royal Court Adviser, Turki Alalshikh, who serves as Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority in the Kingdom.
“For our Indian and Pakistani brothers and sisters in Riyadh, Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will be waiting for you on the 25th of October,” the post said.

Most recently, Aslam sang a haunting rendition of famed Pakistani Qawali master, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Wohi Khuda Hai’ on the popular music platform, Coke Studio. Since it premiered last week, the song and video has amassed 13 million views.
Aslam remains one of the most revered stars out of Pakistan’s music scene and has enjoyed immense success across the border in neighboring India as well, where the singer’s crooning voice is a favorite for Bollywood soundtracks. Pakistan and India have an almost identical spoken language.
Khan, like Aslam, is also a hugely popular artist out of Pakistan and has received similar appreciation in India where he has sung for notable films. A nephew of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, he performed his uncle’s original song, ‘Afreen Afreen,’ in 2016, and it remains the highest viewed video out of Pakistan and Coke Studio, at 288 million views.
Both artists have frequently been praised for their talents, and the work they produce which bridges distances through music between bitter rivals Pakistan and India.
Currently, roughly 250,000 Pakistanis live in Saudi Arabia with nearly a million calling the UAE home.